I’d been hearing great things about Nina Paley’s animated film, Sita Sings the Blues and now, having seen it for myself, I agree with all the accolades. And you can see it as I did streamed online here thanks to my local public television station, Channel 13. Paley threads her own sad story of a failing marriage in and around Sita’s tragic story as told in the Indian epic Ramayana. Paley uses all sorts of animation techniques (some harking back to the earliest years of animation), story telling styles (say using three shadow-puppet narrators to fill in the details of Sita’s story — each trying to remember and help the others remember it too), and music (the 1920’s jazz vocals of Annette Hanshaw as well as more contemporary Indian music). The film is witty, funny, and moving. Highly recommended.
Here’s the trailer: