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Poly Styrene: I Am a Cliché Unclassified 18+

Directors: Celeste Bell, Paul Sng
Origin: UK (2021)
Language: English
Genre: Documentary Music Themes: Biography, Music

View Trailer

A daughter explores her mother’s complex punk legacy in this no-holds-barred documentary.

In 1976, Marianne Elliott-Said gave herself a new name that satirised plastic pop clichés. But the pioneering leader of legendary band X-Ray Spex and songwriter of punk rallying cry Oh Bondage Up Yours! was a true original who inspired other women in music, including Neneh Cherry. Poly Styrene’s diary entries (read by actor Ruth Negga) reveal she was more than just an Anglo-Somali woman jostling for respect in the white, blokey UK punk scene; she was also a gentle soul who struggled with commercial pressures and mental health misdiagnoses.

This documentary – which impressed viewers and critics following its festival runs at SXSW, Hot Docs and CPH:DOX – was co-directed by Poly Styrene’s daughter Celeste Bell, who revisits her mother’s past to make sense of her own tumultuous upbringing. But, despite the musician’s towering reputation, this isn’t your typical profile or piece of hagiography; it’s a reckoning about racism and sexism in the music industry, as well as a reconciliation.

“Riveting … The X-Ray Spex singer is revealed as a mystic, rebellious working-class woman of colour in this valuable film.” – The Guardian


The Music on Film strand is presented by Triple R

In Cinema

Sat 14 Aug 6:30 pm [24101]
Pentridge Coburg 12
Assisted ListeningWheelchair Access
Past event
Fri 20 Aug 9:15 pm [14421]
Hoyts 10
Assisted ListeningAudio Description Wheelchair Access
Past event

For more venue information and for information about accessible services provided at MIFF this year, please go to miff.com.au/access.

To ensure that MIFF can provide you with the best customer service, if you require any accessibility services that MIFF offers at any MIFF venues, please book your ticket by emailing boxoffice@miff.com.au or by phone on 03 9087 3395.

Online

40644
Tue 10 Aug 9:00 am [40644]
Online
Past event
Featured Subject
Poly Styrene
Directors
Celeste Bell, Paul Sng
Producers
Daria Nitsche, Matthew Silverman, Rebecca Mark-Lawson
Screenwriters
Celeste Bell, Paul Sng, Zoe Howe
Cinematographer
Nick Ward
Composer
Marina Elderton
Editor
Xanna Ward Dixon
Premiere Status
Australian Premiere
Format
Digital

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