The trailer for upcoming documentary MATANGI/MAYA/M.I.A. promises a deep dive into the life of British-Tamil rapper Mathangi Arulpragasam, better known as M.I.A, and seeks to understand her artistry and the controversies surrounding her.
Directed by Steve Loveridge, the documentary will be released on September 28 in the United States of America. It was premiered at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival, where it won the World Cinema Documentary Special Jury Award. Multiple Grammy Award-winner Paul Hicks has composed the music with Dhani Harrison.
The documentary will explore the Paper Planes singer’s childhood in Sri Lanka, where her family had to frequently move about during the civil war. In the trailer, Arulpragasam talks about her father, Arul Pragasam, who adopted the name Arular and became a political activist who backed the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, which had launched a violent secessionist struggle.
When she was a week shy of 11, she and her siblings moved to London with her mother, Kala Arulpragasam, while Arular stayed back in Sri Lanka. “I had to deal with the fact that I was different and I was an immigrant,” M.I.A recalls in the trailer.
The artist struck gold with her first album, Arular, named after her father. She named her subsequent albums, Kala, Maya, and Matangi, after her mother and herself. Her last released album was AIM. Her lyrics, political activism, and aesthetic choices have constantly put in her in the spotlight and at the centre of controversy. The singer-songwriter has been accused of supporting terrorism owing to her condemnation of the violence meted out against Tamils during the Sri Lankan civil war and her father’s affiliation with the LTTE. In the documentary, she explains her political views and what she wants to say through her art.