ArtFilm / TV

black feminist punk icon poly styrene’s fascinating life inspires documentary

March 29, 2017

Just in time for the 40th anniversary of X-Ray Spex’s game-changing album ‘Germfree Adolescents’, the life and times of legendary punk Queen and X-Ray Spex founder, Poly Styrene is being told in a feature length documentary, ‘Poly Styrene: I Am A Cliché’. Co-written and narrated by Poly’s daughter Celeste Bell, “This film will be a celebration of the life and work of my mother, an artist who deserves to be recognised as one of the greatest front women of all time; a little girl with a big voice whose words are more relevant than ever,” Bell says.

Styrene’s ahead-of-her-time diy punk was a dynamic call to like-minded misfits and youths to engage in the emerging punk scene. Her contributions to underground culture and punk-rock helped shape the genre and even pave the way for future women in rock. And as unsung as X-Ray Spex’s seminal works are, to many, Poly’s story and her interesting, complicated and turbulent struggles with misogyny, mental health and racism are even more so.

“We have an opportunity to celebrate an artist, a satirist, a free-thinking feminist and a serious style pioneer, but ultimately the thread running through the film will be the deep, enduring connection between a mother and her daughter,” says co-writer Zoë Howe (Typical Girls? The Story of The Slits).

‘Poly Styrene: I Am A Cliché’ is directed by Paul Sng (Sleaford Mods – Invisible Britain) and the project is currently raising funds via Indiegogo, with a planned cinema release date of November 2018.

Follow I Am A Cliché: Website