MATANGI/MAYA/M.I.A.

Empire (UK) - - ON SCREEN -

★★★★

OUT 21 Septem­ber / CERT 18 / 96 MINS

DI­REC­TOR Steve Loveridge CAST M.I.A.

EDITED TO­GETHER FROM 700 hours of footage, much of it shot by its sub­ject her­self, this is an up-close look at Bri­tish-sir Lankan rap­per M.I.A. (real name: Maya Arul­pra­gasam), chron­i­cling her jour­ney from refugee im­mi­grant to provoca­tive pop­star and ac­tivist. The fo­cus here is on the last — there’s lit­tle time de­voted to her mu­sic. And while that will be frus­trat­ing for some, what we’re left with is an in­ti­mate, il­lu­mi­nat­ing doc­u­men­tary that speaks to her trou­bled up­bring­ing — her fa­ther founded a Tamil mil­i­tant group while she fled to Lon­don with her fam­ily — and core iden­tity. Af­ter years of strug­gling to get her po­lit­i­cal ac­tivism to res­onate, Matangi/ MAYA/M.I.A. gives it a mi­cro­phone, and it comes through loud and clear.

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