The trailer for MATANGI / MAYA / M.I.A., the new documentary about activist, mother, and prolific rapper Maya Arulpragasam, is finally here. M.I.A. has been a pivotal artistic, cultural, and human rights figure since the early aughts. The long-awaited and highly anticipated film tracks the controversial British musician’s explosive rise to fame, providing insight into her tumultuous transient upbringing all the way to her ascent to global pop figure. The film is set to hit theaters in the UK on 9/21 and the US on 9/28.
Growing up in Sri Lanka in the midst of a civil war, M.I.A. has always explored ideas of cultural displacement, rootlessness, and political strife in her songs and her visuals — perhaps never better than on the revolutionary Kala, which turned 10 last year. Her sound — infamously marked by a rich, eclectic sonic palette — has had the nebulous genre of “world music” slapped onto it. But that’s never seemed like the right word for the prodigious art that M.I.A creates. It’s almost like the media has never been able to pigeonhole her into one particular box. For this exact reason, a documentary that explores her life, identity, and music is so eagerly anticipated.
The Steve Loveridge-directed doc draws from archival footage over the last 22 years, ranging from everything from personal videos to never-before-heard recordings. Since premiering at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival and winning the World Cinema Documentary Special Jury Award, MATANGI / MAYA / M.I.A. has swiftly garnered momentum and hype. Watch the trailer below.