Poly Styrene: I Am a Cliché [In-Person Only]
$13 General Admission
⚠️ Public safety notice ⚠️
NWFF patrons will be required to double-mask while in the building. Disposable masks are available at the door for those who need them. To be admitted, patrons ages 5+ will also be required to present EITHER proof of COVID-19 vaccination OR a negative result from a COVID-19 test administered within the last 48 hours by an official testing facility. Boosters are strongly recommended, though not required for entry.
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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 musician was also a key inspiration for the riot grrrl and Afropunk movements.
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 archival 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 to better understand Poly the icon and Poly the mother.
(Celeste Bell & Paul Sng, United Kingdom, 2021, 96 min, in English)
Synopsis courtesy of Tyke Films. Still image credits can be found in file names; archival stills are courtesy of BBC Arena, contemporary stills (of Poly’s daughter) are courtesy of Poly Doc Ltd.
“ … as compelling, mysterious, moving and inspiring as Poly’s own pop art.” – Stephen Troussé, UNCUT
“Poly Styrene: I Am A Cliché mixes the personal with the historical to produce a documentary of profound impact and style.” – James Hanton, Outtake Mag