A new documentary POLY STYRENE: I AM A CLICHE (12A) directed by Paul Sng and Celeste Bell is released across the UK and Ireland on March 5th.
Poly Styrene was the first woman of color in the UK to front a successful rock band. She introduced the world to a new sound of rebellion, using her unconventional voice to sing about identity, consumerism, postmodernism, and everything she saw unfolding in late 1970s Britain, with a rare prescience. As the frontwoman of X-Ray Spex, the Anglo-Somali punk musicianwas also a key inspiration for the riot grrrl and Afropunk movements.
The film’s trailer
But the late punk maverick didn’t just leave behind an immense cultural footprint. She was survived by a daughter, Celeste Bell, who became the unwitting guardian of her mother’s legacy and her mother’s demons. Misogyny, racism, and mental illness plagued Poly’s life, while their lasting trauma scarred Celeste’s childhood and the pair’s relationship.
Featuring unseen archive material and rare diary entries narrated by Oscar-nominee Ruth Negga, this documentary follows Celeste as she examines her mother’s unopened artistic archive and traverses three continents, including the sacred lands of India to better understand Poly the icon and Poly the mother.
Poly about spiritual life
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How to view the film: https://www.modernfilms.com/polystyrene/watch
Jan 22, 2023
Bhaktivedanta Institute for Higher Studies