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M.I.A.'s New Documentary Traces Her Rise From Refugee To Pop Star

The first trailer paints an intense picture of the artist and activist

If ever there was a pop star impossible to pigeonhole into one particular box, it's M.I.A., the musical maverick behind hits like "Paper Planes" and "Bad Girls." That's exactly why the upcoming documentary about her life, identity, and career, MATANGI / MAYA / M.I.A., is so eagerly anticipated — and on Thursday (July 19), the film got its first official trailer.

The doc, directed by Steve Loveridge, chronicles M.I.A.'s life growing up in civil war-torn Sri Lanka. She eventually fled to Britain with her family at age 11, using art as "medicine" along the way.

"I had to deal with the fact that I was different and I was an immigrant," the 43-year-old recalls in the trailer. "Music was my medicine. It just blew up so quickly. I lived through war, came as a refugee that is now a pop star. What are the goal posts?"

Along with exploring the roots of M.I.A.'s music, the trailer also delves into the artist's political and social activism. She's long been an outspoken (and, at times, controversial) voice for human rights and multiculturalism, and with the Trump administration's controversial immigration policies currently under fire, her doc is bound to be an essential watch. In fact, she's already offered to share the project with Trump himself:

MATANGI / MAYA / M.I.A. debuted at Sundance earlier this year and is due for release in the U.S. on September 28.


VMAs 2018