Sunday, February 8, 2015

Family Movie Night: Sita Sings the Blues

Title: Sita Sings the Blues
Director: Nina Paley
Original Release: 2008
Choice: My Wife's
My Overall Rating: 4 stars out of 5
via Wikipedia
The animated film Sita Sings the Blues entwines two tales: Ramayana, a classic story from ancient India, and the autobiographical account of creator Nina Paley's marriage.  Ramayama is presented as a refreshingly irreverent discussion between three shadow puppets.  Interspersed are musical episodes, in an entirely different animation style, performed by Sita as voiced by recordings of Annette Hanshaw, a Jazz Age singer who passed away in 1985.



The Purple Penguin is no stranger to Ramayana.  In fact, of the three of us, she is the most knowledgeable in regards to Indian mythology.  A few years back, we discovered the work of Sanjay Patel, a Pixar animator who has written and illustrated several children's books on the subject, including an adaptation of Ramayana.  As such, she was able to identify the Hindu gods we didn't know.

The movie's a lot of fun.  The animation, music and voice performances are all excellent.  The autobiographical portions are the least interesting for me but the parallels Paley draws between her own story and that of Sita are meaningful. 

20 comments:

  1. Very fun and super interesting.
    But fore me I just can't seem to really get into Indian movies. Which is strange because when I was younger I read so much about India.

    cheers, parsnip

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    1. It is, to be fair, a highly Americanized Indian movie. I think you'd enjoy it.

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  2. This would be a great film to show younger kids to pique their interest in Indian culture.

    I'm perplexed at the lack of knowledge in today's kids with regard to the great, big world...when I was a kid, I couldn't get enough of it.

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    1. You know I'm with you on that one. That awful Disney song not withstanding, it's a big and fascinating world. There's only so much anyone will be able to grasp in a single lifetime but that's no excuse for not getting out there and soaking up as much as you can.

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  3. It looks interesting enough that I might check it out.

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    1. If you do, please let me know what you think.

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  4. Looks like a great film to check out.

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  5. Thanks for sharing the clip because it really helped give me a feel of the unique style used for this movie. I love that your daughter was the most knowledgeable about Indian mythology. Sounds like a movie worth watching!
    ~Jess

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  6. How cute! I love the animation in this one.

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  7. What a wonderfully multi-cultural movie night!

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  8. I loved the trailer. I want to watch the full movie.

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  9. I've never heard of this, but I think it's cool that there are animated movies from other cultures that can be watched :) Your kid gets a great education from all these family movie nights!

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    1. We're trying...

      To be fair, while much of the cast and crew is Indian, the director/producer/animator/etc. is American.

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  10. I watched this on YouTube some time ago and found it to be fascinating. I loved the musical score which is what initially drew me to the video. The images are exotic and the story is unique. I wouldn't mind having this on DVD though I'd probably prefer just having the music to listen to.

    Arlee Bird
    A to Z Challenge Co-host
    Tossing It Out

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    1. The music is great, though I don't know if that would be enough for me alone.

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