MATANGI/MAYA/M.I.A. – a gripping documentary on music & politic

Don’t expect a typical fluff music documentary filled with live concert footage and fillers with talking heads praising the artist featured in the documentary. This is nothing like that at all. It’s far more profound and urgent in it’s content and tone. Cut together from decades of archival footage that’s painstakingly edited and re-composed, this is a documentary chronicling artist M.I.A.’s attempt to tell her life story by inviting us via early amateur, low quality video footage, criss cross with network news clips, a glimpse into her very dynamic life. A life that from the day she way born, had inextricably link her into the civil war politic of her home country of Srilanka. What most people are aware of was the fact that her father is the founder of the Tamil Tiger , a classified  terrorist group, according to the Srilanka goverment. But what most people did not know was what actually turned Matangi (MIA’s actual name) from a pop-loving immigrant teen to become a fierce activist who is trying to give a voice to the embattled Srilanka’s Tamil population who are oppressed by the ruling military. By using her celebrity status, she tried to shine a light to the plight of her people while the rest of the world turned a blind eye because they do not invest in any type of interest in Srilanka. All the controversial clippings of news event about her actions and antics are unflinchingly presented here, supplemented with her own BTS footages explaning what really happened. Like on her interview segment with Bill Maher and the NFL halftime concert controversy with Madonna, during which she flipped the middle finger to the camera. That act prompted the NFL to sling her a $16 million dollars lawsuit for her finger flipping antic on live tv. There are many more engrossing footage shown in this kinetic documentary than what’s been mentioned here. Admittedly, most of the footage were low quality clips from cheap, low grade brand of old school camcorder, they never diminish the enjoyment of watching nor tarnish the urgency of the message in the movie. If you are able to enjoy the movie SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE where director Danny Boyle intentionally used pixilated and grainy low grade camcorder footage as the film stock for that academy award winning movie, you would certainly able to enjoy the actual low grade footage presented in this fascinating documentary.