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Matangi / Maya / M.I.A.

Drawn from a never before seen cache of personal footage spanning decades, this is an intimate portrait of the Sri Lankan artist and musician who continues to shatter conventions.
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WHAT ARE CRITICS SAYING?

75

The Film Stage by

Far from a hagiography or a sterile playlist doc, Matangi/Maya/M.I.A. is an uncompromising look at an artist who always refused to play by the script others laid out for her.
60

The Guardian by Cath Clarke

There’s a made-by-a-mate feel to the film, which jumps around confusingly: if you’re not a fan it might help to read her Wiki page for context. Perhaps there is just too much MIA for one film to handle. One thing’s for sure, in an era of manufactured pop stars, she is resplendently unfiltered.
60

Screen International by Fionnuala Halligan

Loveridge doesn’t seem to trust Maya’s natural significance and strains for the doc about her to achieve UN levels of relevance. Taking her for what she is would have been more than enough.
70

Variety by Guy Lodge

It’s a film as compellingly all over the shop as its subject, even if it doesn’t quite have her beat on stylistic verve and risk.
80

CineVue by Katie Driscoll

This is not a run-of-the-mill pop doc: it’s part defiant portrayal of a woman, part autobiographical travelogue, part tale of a country in turmoil through the coming of age story of a young girl, and part meditation on creativity and self-hood, baring all about the elusive grasp of the westernised dream.
60

The Hollywood Reporter by Leslie Felperin

The frequent zigzagging back and forth between the 2010s, the present, the early 2000s and Arulpragasam's childhood becomes quite dizzying over the long haul, and the film almost starts to feel like a work that's gotten lost in the editing suite as the director and subject struggle to say everything about globalism, fame, identity and whatever else comes into their heads, until the film is at risk of saying nothing much at all.
75

Slant Magazine by Sam C. Mac

Stephen Loveridge fully understands that even the trifurcated title of his film may not be entirely equipped at capturing the extent of M.I.A.'s many-faceted identity.

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