M.I.A. Recalls Turbulent Childhood in Trailer for the Documentary She Criticized


“If you’ve got access to a microphone, please use it to say something,” M.I.A. says in a trailer for the documentary Matangi/Maya/M.I.A., released on Thursday.

M.I.A. (born Maya Arulpragasam) has used her platform as a pop star to call attention to the refugee crisis, the NSA spying on all of us, and even flipped off America during our precious SuperBowl. Matangi/Maya/M.I.A., directed by Steve Loveridge, follows her rise as a polarizing voice and traces her activism back to her childhood as the daughter of Sri Lankan immigrants and political activists. (Sometimes her comments—the way she trivialized Black Lives Matter a few years back, for example—have notably gotten her into trouble.)

Even though the documentary won the World Cinema Documentary Special Jury Award at Sundance this year, M.I.A. wasn’t exactly fond of it, which should make for an interesting viewing. “He took all of my cool out,” she told Billboard in January. “He took all the shows where I look good and tossed it in the bin. Eventually, if you squash all the music together from the film, it makes for about four minutes. I didn’t know that my music wouldn’t really be a part of this. I find that to be a little hard, because that is my life. It’s not the film that I would have made.”

Matangi/Maya/M.I.A opens in the US on September 28.

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