The Making of Sita Sings the Blues
In June 2002, Nina Paley moved to
Nina then returned to the
She then began teaching animation and acquiring
Ramayana no longer resembled a sexist parable; rather, it seemed to capture the essence of painful relationships, and describe a blueprint of human suffering. Her grief and longing for the man who rejected her increasingly resembled Sita's.
Initially, Nina animated and produced a short-film titled Trial By Fire (2003) based on Sita's walk through the fire, to Annette Hanshaw's 1929 rendition of Mean to Me.
After another failed relationship in 2004, she decided to tell the Ramayana from Sita’s point of view.
With music, humor, and a range of animation techniques, ‘Sita Sings the Blues’ shows how the genius of the Indian Ramayana transcends societies and generations, and is as relevant today as it was 3,000 years ago.
Some Hindus might be outraged by some of the scenes and drawings in the film. For Nina Paley, Ramayana is not a religious scripture. For her Ramayana, is a work of a genius that has a universal appeal.
Nina is at present engaged in collecting funds to convert the film from digital format to 35mm film.
Nina says ‘My subject matter is controversial. While I have been greatly encouraged by the overwhelming positive response from desis (South Asian expatriates), some viewers in
have been outraged. India
The Ramayana is a perplexing tale, and Sita is its most misunderstood character. I've heard from more than one Hindu American woman that ‘Sita Sings the Blues’ is the first Ramayana retelling that offers them a real connection to Sita.
My retelling is also humorous, which some people interpret as irreverent, and therefore an affront. I hope to show how the genius of the Ramayana transcends societies and generations, and is as relevant today as it was 3,000 years ago”