Thursday, April 12, 2012

Spirituality: "Sita Sings the Blues" (cartoon)

Writer, director, producer, animator Nina Paley (SitaSingstheBlues); Wisdom Quarterly

() "Sita Sings the Blues" is a story by American artist Nina Paley based on the ancient Sanskrit epic the Ramayana, which was handed down from ancient India through the Vedas ("Knowledge Books") inherited from the older Indus Valley Civilization.

Sita is a goddess separated from her beloved husband Lord Rama. Nina is an animator whose husband moves to India then dumps her by email.

Three hilarious shadow puppets narrate both ancient tragedy and modern comedy in this lushly animated interpretation of the classic Sanskrit story.

It is set to the 1920's jazz vocals of torch singer Annette Hanshaw and lives up to its tagline, the "Greatest Break Up Story Ever Told."

The two women, having troubles with their men although separated by centuries, find their stories coming together. A female cartoonist moves from the US when her husband gets a job in India.

While acclimating to her new life, the cartoonist becomes fascinated with an ancient folktale: A beautiful woman who was created spontaneously from the Earth is adopted by King Janaka, pledged in marriage to a brave warrior named Rama, and kidnapped by the demonic leader, Ravana.

Sita's story gets two visual interpretations at once -- a visually striking abstract version and another employing a whimsical cartoon utilizing vintage jazz recordings for Sita's voice.

As the film jumps back and forth between two Ramayana adaptations, the cartoonist discovers that her sojourn in India has taken a turn for the worse when her husband falls in love with another woman. "Sita Sings the Blues" was an official entry at the 2008 Tribeca Film Festival.

It stars:
Aseem Chhabra, Bhavana Nagulapally, Manish Acharya, Annette Hanshaw, Debargo Sanyal, Sanjiv Jhaveri.

"Rama's Journey"
Wisdom Quarterly Wikipedia edit of entry Ramayana

The Ramayana (रामायण) is an ancient Sanskrit epic ascribed to the sage (rishi, seer) Valmiki. It forms an important part of the modern Hindu canon, considered to be a historical event (itihāsa).

It is one of the two great epics of India, Nepal, and Sri Lanka. The other is the Mahabharata. It depicts the duties of relationships, portraying ideal characters like father, servant, brother, wife, and king.

The name is said to be a tatpurusha compound of Rāma- (the hero in the story) and -ayana ("going, advancing") or perhaps -yana ("vehicle, transport").

It consists of 24,000 verses forming seven books (kāṇḍas) and 500 sargas. The classic Indian work recounts the story of Rama (an avatar of Vishnu, the preserver in the triumvirate conception of God). His wife Sita is abducted by the demon king of [Sri] Lanka named Ravana.

Thematically, it explores human values and the concept of dharma. More

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