Matangi / Maya / M.I.A.

As many directors set out to demystify their subject, but almost inherently fail at it due to the mere existence of a doc, Loveridge has the upside of having an over-abundance of archival footage shot by the subject herself. And relying on that footage, which has this beautiful mundane quality to it, is making this something very special. It renders the moment when the teenage MIA is filmed by her sister in their shared bedroom defending her father’s activism (and consequential absence) the same as the moment she tells her family Madonna wants to do the Superbowl with her. There’s no highlighting through cranked slow morion and sappy strings. It’s a moment, like all the others making up her life, coming and going, trying to find her way, trying to be heard.

The biggest question I’m left with is: how the fuck did they make that miniDV and 2005-2009 digital footage look so goddamn crisp?!