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, the daughter of the founder of Sri Lanka’s armed Tamil resistance, and was hidden from the government in the face of a vicious and bloody civil war. When her family fled to the U.K., 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, creating a mashup, cut-and-paste identity that pulled from every corner of her journey: 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 compromising, Maya kept her camera rolling through her battles with the music industry and mainstream media as her success and fame grew, and she rose to become one of the most provocative and divisive artists working in music today.
“MATANGI / MAYA / M.I.A. feels like it is giving a voice to a controversial artist who, as an outspoken woman of colour, deserves to tell her story uninterrupted.” —Stephanie Watts, One Room With a View “...[M.I.A.’s] early aspiration of becoming a documentary filmmaker means [director] Loveridge has a trove of electrifying pre- and post-fame footage to work with, which he uses for a smart, lively investigation of M.I.A.’s own vital themes: the lives of immigrants worldwide, the plight of the Sri Lankan people, and the question of whether pop stars can make effective political activists.” —Spencer Kornhaber, Atlantic
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