The life story of Mathangi Arulpragasam has been quite an interesting and inspiring one to say the least. Arulpragasam is known primarily in Western pop culture by her artistic persona, M.I.A., and has kept her name and music relevant within the pop community since her 2007 Kala album arrived in August of that year and launched her into stardom with its hit single, “Paper Planes.”
Arulpragasam’s story of her early childhood in Britain followed by years spent in poverty as a Sri Lankan Civil War refugee, has been put together by director Stephen Loveridge in the soon-to-be-released documentary, “MATANGI / MAYA / M.I.A.” The decade-spanning documentary received its debut at the Sundance Film Festival back in January, and will get an international release later this year in the United Kingdom on Sept. 22, and in the United States on Sept. 28. As Pitchfork reports, the biographical story was scored by Dhani Harrison (son of George Harrison) and Grammy-winning engineer Paul Hicks, who worked with The Beatles at Abbey Road Studios.
According to earlier reports, the film’s principal photography had been shot by Arulpragasam throughout her life, as she was initially an aspiring filmmaker before turning her talents over to music.
“It’s a weird film, and it’s not easy to cut together, she told Pitchfork back in 2013 when the film was in the early stages of finding the right director and producers. “It’s not like I have a camera following me around, documenting my fucking dressing room. I’ve documented a lot of things myself as a filmmaker. If you want a rockumentary, that’s in there. Then there’s a political angle, which is the documentary I wanted to shoot on Sri Lanka. Then there’s footage I shot when my brother came out of prison when he was like 16. And footage of this crazy mess with my personal life. They’re all interesting things you’re not going to get from a Beyoncé documentary. It’s just so complicated. I can’t even get my head around that.”
Arulpragasam and director Stephen Loveridge can also be heard talking more in-depth about the film and her story in the interview above, which was captured at Sundance earlier this year.
M.I.A. was one of the carefully selected list of artists and performers who will also be joining Ms. Lauryn Hill on her upcoming North American tour to celebrate 1998's The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill album turning two decades old in 2018. Tickets for select shows on the tour are on sale now, and can be purchased by clicking here.