I AM A CLICHÉ
September 9 – 26, 2021
Due to Covid19 Lockdown Available for
Co-presented by Groovescooter for the
Sydney Underground Film Festival
Watch Trailer below
Dir: Celeste Bell, Paul Sng
Dur: 89 mins
Pauline Black (The Selecter)
Kathleen Hanna (Bikini Kill)
Poly Styrene, front-woman for the brilliant X-Ray Spex, was a key figure in Britain’s post-’60s new wave of music. She was one of the first women of colour to front a successful band just as punk & post-punk took a stranglehold in a soon-to-be Thatcher-trashed UK. In the face of misogyny, racism, and mental illness, Poly’s infamous rallying lyrical cry “Oh Bondage, UP YOURS!!” was both political and personal. Introducing the world to a new sound of rebellion, she sang about identity, consumerism, postmodernism, and everything she saw unfolding in late-’70s Brixton and beyond. Inspiring generations to come – not least the riot grrrl movement – she sadly departed this world prematurely, but left behind a significant cultural footprint. Survived by her filmmaker daughter, Celeste Bell – who became the unwitting guardian of her mother’s legacy and demons – I Am A Cliché is a highly personal film featuring unseen material and diary entries narrated by Oscar-nominee Ruth Negga. It examines her mother’s artistic archive and traverses three continents to better understand Poly the icon and Poly the mother.
We’d love to be screening this in the cinema for you with an all-women post-punk band performing before the lights dim, but due to current Covid 19 restrictions this will be presented via streaming and available Australia-wide. We’ll return to the cinema just as soon as it’s safe to do so.