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Poly Styrene: I Am a Cliché

Presented by California Film Institute at Christopher B. Smith Rafael Film Center, San Rafael CA

Feb 02 2022
Poly Styrene: I Am a Cliché

Daughter of punk-music maverick examines archival material to understand the icon and the mother

Playing in-person at the Smith Rafael Film Center

Poly Styrene was the first woman of colour 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 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 to better understand Poly the icon and Poly the mother.

Directors: Paul Sng, Celeste Bell

ADMISSION INFO

$12.50 – General
$9.00 – Senior • Youth • Matinée
$7.00 – CFI Members

Contact: 415-454-1222

Email: info@cafilm.org

    Official Website

Additional time info:

7:00 pm

VIDEOS

LOCATION

Christopher B. Smith Rafael Film Center

1118 Fourth Street, San Rafael, CA 94901

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