Poly Styrene: I am a Cliché – Release Date- February 4th, 2022

Available in Theatres and on VOD across Canada on February 4th 
Photon Films is excited to announce that Hot Docs favourite POLY STYRENE: I AM A CLICHÉ will be available in theatres and on VOD across Canada on February 4th. The film played several Canadian festivals in 2021 receiving much acclaim, and also won 2 British Independent Film Awards.

The death of punk icon and X-Ray Spex frontwoman Poly Styrene sends her daughter, Celeste Bell, on a journey across the world and through her mother’s archives to reconcile their fraught relationship in this new documentary, featuring Oscar nominee Ruth Negga as the voice of Poly Styrene.  


SYNOPSIS 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. Misogynyracism, 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. 
Celeste Bell and Paul Sng

96 minutes


We would like to thank Brianna HurleySr. Publicity Director | TARO PR for the press release.