Sita Sings The Blues
Sita is a goddess separated from her beloved Lord and husband Rama. Nina is an animator whose husband moves to India, then dumps her by email. Three hilarious shadow puppets narrate both ancient tragedy and modern comedy in this beautifully animated interpretation of the Indian epic Ramayana. Set to the 1920's jazz vocals of Annette Hanshaw, Sita Sings the Blues earns its tagline as "the Greatest Break-Up Story Ever Told."
What is really interesting about this film is that while this film is only now showing up in art house theaters, it has been in the public domain and available for viewing at Archive.Org for months. Roger Ebert wrote about it on his blog after receiving a DVD copy from a friend of his in the mail.
Mr. Ebert says:
Here is the film for you to enjoy:
I am enchanted. I am swept away. I am smiling from one end of the film to the other. It is astonishingly original. It brings together four entirely separate elements and combines them into a great whimsical chord. You might think my attention would flag while watching An animated version of the epic Indian tale of Ramayana set to the 1920's jazz vocals of Annette Hanshaw. Quite the opposite. It quickens.
To read a full review of the film, go here.
In his review of the top animated movies of 2009, Ebert had this to say:
Sita Sings the Blues. Animated features are an expensive, high-stakes medium, but a visionary named Nina Paley staged an end run around the big guys with this enchanting feature made at home on her own computer. She combines the epic Indian tale of Ramayana with the 1920's jazz vocals of Annette Hanshaw, and this not only works, but seems inevitable. Failing to obtain the rights to the long-unavailable recordings, she outsmarted the system by giving the film away--and made money doing it!
I didn't think that this movie would interest me. But believe it or not, I sat captivated for the entire hour and twenty minutes of the film. It was in part hilarious, touching, captivating, and the songs were at times absolutely haunting.
You may see this film pop up at awards time in the animated features category. Now is your chance to see it before it does.