03.15 sita sings the blues


sita sings the blues, a feature-length animated film and "the greatest break-up story ever told", is unique because it is:
a) set against the backdrop of the hindu legend of the ramayana
b) a mash-up of three distinct 2-d cartoon styles
c) soundtracked by annette hanshaw, a 1930's flapper and blues singer
d) all of the above

d you say? ding-ding! you got it!

i gotta hand it to nina paley, a cartoonist and the one-woman film-maker behind sita sings the blues. the reviews say it all: points for artistic direction, animation, plot, characters, costumes, music and ingenuity! some are offended by cartoon depictions of the sacred sita and rama singing and dancing and by the film 'zooming in' on a small piece of the ramayana told only from sita's perspective... totally understandable.

but i have to comment that the film got me interested in the epic of the ramayana (which until now had daunted me because of its complexity). i think this film opens up indian culture and the history and legends of the hindu religion to a whole new audience. and in a totally endearing way.

the indian-accented shadow puppets quibbling over facts of the legend of sita and rama are hilarious, and sita whimsically singing annette hanshaw's blues songs, including 'who's that knocking at my door' stole the show for me (yep, despite the fact that i generally hate musicals).

copyright restrictions are currently preventing the film from theatrical distribution... the only place to watch it is at a festival, or for most of us, online.

check out part one here (click on the HD button at the bottom to watch in hi-def):

all 10 parts here... enjoy!!

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