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Singer Poly Styrene singing into a microphone on stage, wearing a suit blazer or jacket

Rooftop Cinema: Poly Styrene: I Am A Cliché

August 11, 2022

8:00 pm – 9:45 pm


Bring a friend, bring a blanket or camp chairs, and prepare yourself for an evening of independent films and videos under the stars. Rooftop Cinema returns to the Museum’s Rooftop Sculpture Garden each Thursday this August for its seventeenth season. Films begin at sundown, approximately 8 PM.


Celeste Bell, Paul Sng | UK | 2021 | 96 minutes

Poly Styrene was the first woman of color in England to front a successful rock band, X-Ray Specs. She introduced the world to a new sound of rebellion, using her unconventional voice to sing about identity, consumerism, and everything she saw unfolding in late 1970s Britain. Misogyny, racism, and mental illness plagued Poly’s life, scarring her relationship with her daughter Celeste, who became the unwitting guardian of her mother’s legacy. Celeste examines her mother’s diaries and a previously unopened artistic archive to better understand Poly the icon and Poly the mother.

“More than a journeyman rockumentary, Poly Styrene is a thoughtfully finessed filial reckoning: a daughter’s journey toward understanding her mother as a young artist and as a young woman of color.” –Lisa Kennedy, New York Times

Watch the Trailer

Ticket Information

  • Rooftop Cinema is $7 per screening, or free for MMoCA members and anyone age 18 and younger.
  • Ticket sales begin at 7:30 PM in the Museum Lobby.
  • Screenings relocate to the lecture hall if rain is predicted.