Friday, November 25, 2005

Sita Sings the Blues/The Sitayana

Artist Nina Paley
Sita Sings the Blues/The Sitayana; Viewable online

The Ramayana and the blues of the 20s (via vocalist Annette Hanshaw) get an exhilarating animation treatment from Nina Paley in this movie that's an accessible retelling of The Ramayana from Sita's perspective, and a fiery cross-cultural mash-up. Paley has been slowly building this work for years. When I first posted about it, Sita Sings the Blues was in progress and Paley was posting it to her website in chapter-sized chunks—now it's finished and collecting awards at festivals.

Here's a New York Times piece about it and how Paley developed the idea—a great story for people of any age about how creativity can be fueled by personal circumstance.

Despite Paley's difficulty in securing copyrights for some of the music in her animation, beginning February 26, 2009, Sita Sings the Blues will be viewable online through Channel 13, which is allowed to show it as a public broadcaster. This should be an active link to that.

For more of artist Nina Paley's work, including her graphic contributions to the Christmas Resistance Movement, visit

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