Angela Natividad's Live & Uncensored!

03 November 2010

Sita Sings the Blues: The Greatest Break-Up Story Ever Told

In 2009, artist Nina Paley kindly her labour of love (one year in the world, five years in the making), Sita Sings the Blues, under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License, which basically gives people the freedom to mash up or otherwise play with the content/likenesses as long as they provide appropriate attribution.

My friend Amanda reco'd the video to me recently and I just fell in love with it. To start with, it's a creative piece of work that showcases Paley's versatility as an artist. Plot-wise, it recounts the epic Ramayana in a pithy, freestyle narrative that brings to mind both Mystery Science Theater 3000 (the shadow commentators) and Drunk History (the heroes do what the narrators say, even if the narrators themselves aren't always sure what happened).

All this is quietly interwoven with the tale of Nina's divorce and eventual discovery of the Ramayana. It's not distracting and it fits right in. Also - and this is my favourite part - Sita's woes are given voice with the musical contribution of '20s-era jazz singer Annett Hanshaw. What more, I say, what more can you ask for?*

If you want, hold a Sita screening or donate to Nina. Don't be shy about it; we need beauty like this in the world.


*A glowing review from Ebert? No worries, that's covered.

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