- 26 Sep 18
The documentary is screening in select venues across Dublin, Belfast, Galway and Cork.
Most popularly known for her 2007 hit 'Paper Planes', featuring a gunshot-laden hook and verses about the stereotypical perception of immigrants, rapper M.I.A. is now the subject of a Sundance Film Festival award winning documentary which is out now.
Directed by Steve Loveridge, 'MATANGI / MAYA / M.I.A.' documents the background and remarkable rise to prominence of the woman born Mathangi Arulpragasam in 1975, who quickly went from "refugee immigrant to pop star".
The film pieces together personal video recordings of the past 22 years from M.I.A. herself, along with archived news footage and behind the scenes clips to tell her story, one which began with her family moving from London to Jaffna in Sri Lanka when she was 6 years old. In the ensuing period, her father became a political activist and the founder of the armed Tamil resistance, prompting her and her family to go into hiding from the Sri Lankan army during what was a brutal civil war in the region.
The documentary's title refers to the differing defining moments in her journey. Born Matangi, she became Maya when she was ultimately forced to flee back to the UK due to concerns for her and her family's safety, and was initially housed as a refugee. Through her adolescence she began to hone and refine her various creative energies, and proceeded to eventually become M.I.A. in the early 2000s while an aspiring visual artist, a stage name inspired by a missing cousin of hers and an identity formed through her collective experiences.
Arulpragasam filmed a sizable portion of these events, and the documentary affords the opportunity for viewers to see the journey first-hand from immigrant teenager, to precocious creative, to philanthropist, activist, and award-winning recording artist.
'MATANGI / MAYA / M.I.A.' is in cinemas now and screening at select locations around Ireland, you can find the nearest one to you via the film's website and check out the official trailer below: