Steve Loveridge directed film on artist alternately praised for activism, derided for 'radical chic' persona
A new trailer has dropped for the much-anticipated documentary Matangi/Maya/M.I.A, about the polarizing British-Sri Lankan rapper and pop star.
The film directed by Steve Loveridge debuted at Sundance last January where it won a Special Jury Award for World Cinema - Documentary. It has also earned prizes and nominations from a variety of other festivals, including the Seattle International Film Festival, Sydney Film Festival and IndieLisboa International Independent Film Festival.
This is a candid portrait of one of the most thoughtful and provocative artists of our time.
Loveridge made use of extensive video diaries the recording artist -- born Mathangi Arulpragasam -- shot over the course of decades. The film captures her early life in Sri Lanka and immigration to Britain as a child (a move necessitated by her father's central role in the Tamil Tigers, a militant Sri Lankan separatist group).
M.I.A., as she is best known, has won praise for her music -- she earned an Oscar nomination for a song in the 2008 film Slumdog Millionaire. But critics have accused her of condoning terrorism and draping herself in a radical chic mantle. The documentary makes a strong defense of her earnestness as an artist and the right of immigrants to embrace the culture of their native countries.
Matangi/Maya/M.I.A. is set to be released in the U.S. and U.K. in September. Watch the trailer here:
Matthew Carey is a documentary filmmaker and journalist. His work has appeared on Deadline.com, CNN, CNN.com, TheWrap.com, NBCNews.com and in Documentary magazine.