The film will be narrated by the late punk icon’s daughter.
Poly Styrene, the late frontwoman of seminal punk band X-Ray Spex, is the subject of an upcoming documentary Poly Styrene: I Am A Cliché that is being crowd-funded now. Co-written by Sytrene’s daughter Celeste Bell, the film comes in conjunction with the 40-year anniversary of X-Ray Spex’s indomitable album Germfree Adolescents.
The film looks to highlight not just Styrene’s innovation, but the racism, misogyny and mental health issues she struggled with throughout her life and career. “This film will be a celebration of the life and work of my mother, an artist who deserves to be recognized 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.
Bell is co-writing the film with author Zoë Howe, who has written biographies about The Jesus and Mary Chain, Wilko Johnson and, most importantly, The Slits. Slits member Viv Albertine was friends with Styrene and wrote definitively Styrene’s influence and friendship in her 2014 memoir Clothes, Clothes, Clothes. Music, Music, Music. Boys, Boys, Boys.
Bell and Howe will also be co-authoring a biography about Styrene, which is slated for release in November 2018. The film will be directed by Paul Sng, whose previous work includes a Sleaford Mods documentary.
For more information about the film, check out their IndieGoGo campaign. Watch X-Ray Spex perform their classic ‘Oh Bondage! Up Yours!’ from the documentary Punk in London below.