7.6/10
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Sita Sings the Blues (2008)

Not Rated | | Animation, Comedy, Fantasy | 12 August 2009 (France)
An animated version of the epic Indian tale of Ramayana set to the 1920s jazz vocals of Annette Hanshaw.

Director:

Nina Paley

Writers:

Nina Paley, Valmiki (book)
7 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

Cast overview:
Annette Hanshaw Annette Hanshaw ... Sita (singing) (archive sound)
Aseem Chhabra Aseem Chhabra ... Narrator - Shadow Puppet 1 (voice)
Bhavana Nagulapally Bhavana Nagulapally ... Narrator - Shadow Puppet 2 (voice)
Manish Acharya ... Narrator - Shadow Puppet 3 (voice)
Reena Shah ... Sita (voice)
Sanjiv Jhaveri Sanjiv Jhaveri ... Dave / Dasharatha / Ravana / Dhobi / Valmiki (voice)
Pooja Kumar ... Surphanaka (voice)
Debargo Sanyal Debargo Sanyal ... Rama (voice)
Aladdin Ullah Aladdin Ullah ... Mareecha / Hanuman (voice)
Nitya Vidyasagar ... Luv / Kush (voice)
Nina Paley Nina Paley ... Nina (voice)
Deepti Gupta ... Kaikeyi (voice)
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Storyline

The movie is about Sita, the Hindu Goddess from the epic "The Ramayana", who accompanies Lord Rama on a 14 year exile in forest. Sita is abducted by Ravana, the ruler of Lanka. This movie tells the story of Rama and Sita, along-with a biographical account of the director's relationship with her husband. Written by pulkitanand

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The Greatest Break-Up Story Ever Told.


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

12 August 2009 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

I sita tragoudaei ta blues See more »

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Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$12,619
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The intermission in the movie is a tribute to Bollywood, the Indian Film Industry. See more »

Goofs

The musicians are shown playing with the left and right hands reversed. The clarinet, like all woodwinds, is played with the left hand at the top. The violin is held with the left hand and bowed with the right. But in the movie, the clarinet player has the right hand at the top, and the violin is held with the right and bowed with the left. See more »

Quotes

Rama: Assemble the monkey warriors!
See more »

Crazy Credits

Sita Body Double - Ducky Sherwood Beloved Cult Leader - Mike Caprio Temple Construction Supervisor - Thomas Matthew Swain Kitty Trainer - Ari Kangas Duck Wrangler - Duck Studios Chameleon Handler - Elizabeth Paley See more »

Connections

References Batman (1966) See more »

Soundtracks

The Song Is Ended
Written by Irving Berlin
Sung by Annette Hanshaw
Pathe Actuelle, 1927
See more »

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User Reviews

Richly subversive
14 April 2009 | by jdesandoSee all my reviews

"The blues was like that problem child that you may have had in the family. You was a little bit ashamed to let anybody see him, but you loved him. You just didn't know how other people would take it." BB King

The fine recent animations such as Persepolis and Wall-E have set an intelligence standard hard to equal, much less surpass. While Sita Sings the Blues at least equals those in intelligence and wonder, it surpasses them in imagination considering the parallel stories of wives unfairly abandoned by their husbands are set in modern and ancient times, based on the well-know Ramayana story in India.

Although the animation seems a primitive 2-D next to Pixar's successfully realistic product, director and almost everything-else-in-the-picture Nina Paley suffuses the frames with brilliant colors and variable landscapes. Heroine Sita is shaped in circles and curves to make her voluptuous and expressive in an endearingly abstract style.

I have never seen such richly subversive animation that pushes the feminist agenda without offending. The story, after all, is clear about the failure of mankind over the millennia to stop the sexism that puts women through humiliation without retribution. Paley's success at entertaining with a wildly imaginative palette and lovable characters and cats contradicts, however, the generalization that all women suffer degradations centuries old—she is an artist and entrepreneur, who, faced with a restrictive copyright law that doesn't let her market the film because of Jazz singer Annette Hanshaw' 1920's performance (the music is in the public domain, but not the publishing) distributes her film free (find it in 10 installments on YouTube).

Hanshaw's Betty-Boop like singing is the apex of pleasure in this multi layered story, whose intricacy is richly rewarding, sometimes difficult even for Indians to decipher, such as the three Indian voice-overs who wittily try to figure out the details of the Ramayana legend. I rarely make the time to return to a film before I report on it—this time I will happily return to hear Sita sing the blues and put the beautiful mosaic into order.


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