I remember reading about Nina Paley and watching a review of her animation movies once on TV too. I was intrigued by the concept.
"Sita sings the Blues'' is a movie that has been funded by Nina's fans. In fact,Annette Hanshaw's music has also been used without obtaining prior permission and copyrights had been violated. Nina Paley made the movie in her own way,to tell her own story interspersed with The Ramayana. It was through her personal battle,says Paley,that she could connect with Sita and her rejection by Rama.
I found the movie beautiful. Paley has used Hanshaw's music perfectly and has used three forms of animation in her narrative. It is a riot of creativity and grips your attention till the very last bit. What also impressed me about the movie was the three shadow puppets which were used to narrate the The Ramayana in a very crisp and appealing way.
Till yesterday, I hadn't watched or read the full-length Ramayana the way it I watched it yesterday. Whether it is the animation movie "Hanuman" or the Amar Chitra Katha novels,I've only read what appeared to be a rosy picture. Perhaps Indians are not very pleased with the epic themselves.Although I had heard the story after the "agnipariksha",it never once irked the way it did last night. Sita showed unconditional love and dedication to her "Swami",submitted herself completely and went through immense pain. All for what? Ram's doubting her? Rejecting her to save his pride,honour and dignity? It surprised me how our epics were so male centric and forgave the man,but never the woman. The woman could face trials but the man is never to be doubted. He is the one with the power,the discretion. It is the woman who suffers.
I might sound like a feminist,but I can never understand why there should be a preference given to either sex. Forget about that...
Why did Sita have to be so submissive? I was pleased when she asked Mother Earth to take her into her womb the second time she was asked to take the Agnipariksha. What after that? a single tear from the eyes of the gallant Rama. Wonderful.
Sita always accepted whatever she was subjected to. That was,however,till centuries ago.
"Sita sings the Blues" ends in a very interesting way and on a positive note. Ram is an incarnation of Shiva. Time comes around and it is Shiva who is serving his wife Parvati. Role reversals... something I'm getting a preview of already in today's world ;)