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Director: Stephen Loveridge
2018, USA, UK, 95 minutes, Digital
Drawn from a cache of personal video recordings from the past 22 years, director Steve Loveridge’s Sundance award winning MATANGI / MAYA / M.I.A. is a startlingly personal profile of the critically acclaimed artist, chronicling her remarkable journey from refugee immigrant to pop star. She began as Matangi. Daughter of the founder of Sri Lanka’s armed Tamil resistance, she hid from the government in the face of a vicious and bloody civil war. When her family fled to the UK, she became Maya, a precocious and creative immigrant teenager in London. Finally, the world met her as M.I.A. when she emerged on the global stage, having created a mashup, cut-and-paste identity that pulled from every corner of her journey along the way; a sonic sketchbook that blended Tamil politics, art school punk, hip-hop beats and the unwavering, ultra-confident voice of a burgeoning multicultural youth. Never one to compromise on her vision, Maya kept her camera rolling throughout. MATANGI / MAYA / M.I.A. provides unparalleled, intimate access to the artist in her battles with the music industry and mainstream media as her success and fame explodes, becoming one of the most recognizable, outspoken and provocative voices in music today.
4/5 Stars: “The film comes from a place of deep admiration for MIA, but unlike more fawning biographies, it makes a convincing case that this admiration is well earned.” — Charlie Phillips, The Guardian
“In many ways, Matangi/Maya/M.I.A. is a biography by way of autobiography, with Loveridge mostly curating and arranging the sometimes diary-like home videos M.I.A. shot of herself over the years. This inside-out perspective imbues the film with a fascinating mix of up-close candor and (somewhat) objective distance.” — Devika Girish, Film Comment