Matangi / maya / mia

The many attractive feature of Steve Loveridge’s “Matangi/Maya/M.I.A.,” a sprawling and purposely chaotic glisser of thé British-Sri Lankan singer-songwriter-rapper-producer-political activist M.I.A.’s life, is thé wealth du frank, never-seen-before clip shot by M.I.A. Herself. In his Sundance-winning film, Loveridge is quick to reveal auto larger-than-life artist’s lifelong aspirations to it is in a enregistrer filmmaker. The leads to an upbeat fonte that mostly unfolds oui a joint creative effort, even though Loveridge—an old an individual friend ns M.I.A. (birth-name Mathangi Arulpragasam) since their temps together as classmates in an art school—is in thé director’s chair. Auto amalgamation of their viewpoints gives “Matangi/Maya/M.I.A.” the unpredictable et at times, admittedly exasperating nature. It puts the ever-controversial M.I.A. In an intimate context viewed not only de herself, marqué also by her close friend, that complements Arulpragasam’s candid, camera-facing, self-interrogative recordings of over two decades with other archival material oui well oui his own work.

Vous lisez ce: Matangi / maya / mia

This loose charpente that liberally go forwards et backwards in time makes sense for a profile du Arulpragasam, whose art et political stance continuez to both fascinate and confuse toutes les personnes in equal measure (Loveridge leans a touch heavier nous the outspoken activism à côté de of elle life). Et while M.I.A.’s sonic style, music and unruly an imaginative process are really much a weighty part de the documentary, “Matangi/Maya/M.I.A.” might still leave some de the musician’s most ardent fans craving pour more 보다 Paper Planes and Borders. Marqué despite this boy slip, Loveridge mostly manages to danse along a satisfying narrative thread et portray Arulpragasam’s multiple cultural et artistic identities (as recorded in auto film’s invitingly rhyme-y title) through texture, oui she go from the daughter ns a Sri Lankan Tamil resistance fighter venir a refugee, immigrant and ultimately, a world-famous pop star. The film’s most touching partie arrives when a young Maya travels back to her Matangi job in Sri Lanka, visits her old home and her grandmother, and reunites with thé origins of elle existence avant our eyes.

Throughout auto film, Loveridge handsomely engages with his friend’s trip from a sensitive viewpoint ns clashing identities as an immigrant, making feeling of elle rebellious, untamable perspective even when elle oversteps a slightly off-putting, bratty line. In that, Arulpragasam’s conversion from année aspiring artist with a beaucoup to express to a bravely loud pop culture figure is fascinating venir witness. Si you have already assumed that elle much-publicized “middle-finger” during thé 2012 excellent Bowl halftime démontrer (alongside Madonna) to be outrageously overblown par the media, elle will feeling even more enraged after seeing ce through thé perspective ns this film. Loveridge doesn’t spare his punches when cette comes to underscoring thé casual (and sometimes, not sauce soja casual) unfairness et even racism de the media in spanning M.I.A. From bill Maher’s patronizing interview to Lynn Hirschberg’s currently infamous nouveau York Times profile synonymous v “truffle fries,” the filmmaker systematically aims earlier at several ns M.I.A.’s detractors.

But the is not to say Loveridge completely lets M.I.A. Off the hook. He memorably poses elle the question, “Why space you haricot de soja problematic?” and guides the audience through some faisabilité answers that can explain his friend’s inconsistencies oui she grapples with newfound pressures et responsibilities her fame brings. Cette is rumored the Loveridge et his famous subject had actually some stress over the years during the making of the film. But if she coming to their relationship ont well as M.I.A.’s art with a largely fresh pair of eyes (like ns did), elle might seulement miss thé slight awkwardness between the two till a repeat viewing. For the most part, je vous demande pardon will remain with elle is the thoughtfully assembled story of a young, opinionated and infinitely talented migrants woman that sings her way through a sapin of irregularities à keep a promise she once made to sa grandmother.


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Tomris Laffly

Tomris Laffly is a freelance film writer et critic based in nouveau York. A member du the new York film Critics one (NYFCC), she regularly contributes, Variety et Time Out new York, with bylines in filmmaker Magazine, cinématicien Journal International, Vulture, auto Playlist and The Wrap, among divers outlets.