Innovative hip-hop/pop artist M.I.A. and longtime friend/filmmaker Steven Loveridge have released the first trailer for their much-anticipated documentary, MANTAGI / MAYA / M.I.A. According to Sundance, where the film originally premiered (and won a Special Jury Award), the documentary is “an intimate portrait of the Sri Lankan artist and musician who continues to shatter conventions” and was created using a “never before seen cache of personal footage spanning decades.”
The film is a strong departure from the standard glossy tour video. Through a gritty lens, Loveridge traces M.I.A.’s journey from her childhood as a Sri Lankan immigrant living in London to the superstar artist and global activist she is today. It focuses less on M.I.A.’s music, and more on her personal experiences, her family life, and the relationships that have defined her evolution. Much of the footage used was harvested from over 700 hours of video filmed by M.I.A. herself and those closest to her.
After the film’s Sundance premiere, M.I.A. – who didn’t see the final edit until the premiere – expressed some dismay over just how personal the film is. However, she acknowledged that the film’s message – and its potential to positively influence others – may be more important than her personal insecurities about watching the story of her life play out on screen. She also hopes that because the film so strongly highlights the activism and peace advocacy that have long been tied with her artistry, it might viewers understand her – and the message she is trying to send – a bit better.
“If I’m going to be penalized whenever I say ‘stop killing people’ — if that is the worst thing that you can do as a human being and be scrutinized because I advocate peace — then I don’t mind being trampled, because you just have to believe in it.”
MANTAGI / MAYA / M.I.A. hits UK theaters on September 21st and U.S. theaters on September 28th.
Keep up with M.I.A. via her website.