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With: M.I.A.
Written by: n/a
Directed by: Steve Loveridge
MPAA Rating: NR
Running Time: 96
Date: 10/05/2018

Matangi / Maya / M.I.A. (2018)

3 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Galang with M.I.A.

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Like the Oscar-winning Amy Winehouse documentary Amy, Steve Loveridge's Matangi/Maya/M.I.A. contains tons of video footage of its subject, pop star M.I.A., from almost her entire life. So we see young Maya at art school, visiting her grandmother in Sri Lanka, and tapping out beats for what would become her first songs. Born the daughter of Arular Pragasam, the originator of the Tamil Tigers, she grew up with rebelliousness in her blood, and danger at her front door. Watching this film, it makes absolute sense that, in celebrity interviews, she would want to talk about genocide in her home country, rather than Hollywood gossip. Without wasting too much time, the movie details her meteoric rise to fame, and creating songs that actually meant something to her and came from her own experience, as well as her penchant for getting into trouble (mostly extending her middle finger during a Super Bowl performance and sending the world into a tizzy). It doesn't linger over any tragedies and always shows its spunky star bouncing back, ready for another round. The movie is probably already too far in her court to win over any new fans, but if you're an old fan, you'll thoroughly enjoy the blunt, brisk energy here.

Matangi/Maya/M.I.A. opens at the Roxie Cinema here in the Bay Area, and elsewhere too.

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