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06th Jul 2019

There’s an excellent music documentary on BBC Two tonight

Dave Hanratty

MIA documentary

The life and times of M.I.A., a unique artist with a hell of a story.

You probably best know M.I.A. from 2007 belter ‘Paper Planes’, a rousing summer bop that has stood the test of time – well, 12 years, anyway.

You might also know her from the Super Bowl XLVI halftime show in 2012, where she performed alongside Madonna and Nicki Minaj, causing major controversy when she dared extend her middle finger in the direction of the camera and millions watching around the world.

Amazingly, that incident led to a $16.6 million fine on behalf of the NFL and an eventual confidential settlement.

Though the aforementioned ‘Paper Planes’ is without doubt an all-timer and M.I.A. will forever be associated with weird Super Bowl history, there’s a whole lot more to her life story.

Born Mathangi Arulpragasam in London in the mid 1970s, the musician, activist and visual artist grew up informed by different cultures, harnessing all around her to carve out an identity and make a name for herself as an eventual international star.

With that came tremendous conflict.

All of this is explored quite brilliantly in the 2018 documentary MATANGI / MAYA / M.I.A., which is reminiscent of the likes of Supersonic and Amy in that it delves deep into archive footage in a bid to present a compelling portrait of larger than life people.

As with any great music doc, you can go in not knowing anything about the leading subject, or you can be a huge fan or even critic – the end result is still a great piece of work.

Though the film only got a limited cinema release last year, the good news is that it screens tonight – Saturday 6 July – on BBC Two at 10.30pm.

Check out the trailer below and don’t miss it.

Clip via Dogwoof

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