“Matangi/Maya/M.I.A.,” the long-awaited documentary about the controversial pop star, debuts at the Sundance Film Festival on Sunday. The film should be a hit with fans of the “Paper Planes” and “Bad Girls” singer. It promises to draw on a treasure trove of tapes shot by M.I.A. and her closest confidants over more than 20 years, providing unprecedented footage of the chart-topping singer, at both high and low points in her career.
Getting the film to the screen has been an arduous process. Director Stephen Loveridge originally announced the project in 2013, but according to Spin Magazine, production got held up by a standoff between the filmmaker and Interscope, the singer’s record label. At various points, M.I.A. suggested that the film might never see the light of day.
However, that day has finally arrived, and the film is expected to be draw a lot of interest from distributors looking for a documentary with commercial muscle.
The film will follow M.I.A. as she pushes back against the music business and the mainstream media while trying to retain her artistic integrity. The tagline says it “captures Maya’s remarkable journey from immigrant teenager in London to international popstar M.I.A.”
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Here’s an exclusive, first-look at the poster from the film.