7.6/10
4,196
41 user 63 critic

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)

On Disc

at Amazon

7 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Animation
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Loosely following a traditional Passover Seder, events from the Book of Exodus are retold by Moses, Aharon, the Angel of Death, Jesus, and the director's own father. But there's another ... See full summary »

Director: Nina Paley
Stars: Barry Gray, Hiram Paley, Nina Paley
Animation | Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

An animated short set to the tune of Pat Boone's Exodus Song satirizing the history of the land called Israel/Palestine/Canaan/the Levant. "I envisioned This Land Is Mine as the last scene ... See full summary »

Director: Nina Paley
Animation | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Signe Baumane and five women in her family battle with depression and madness.

Director: Signe Baumane
Stars: Signe Baumane
Animation | Comedy | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Set in Algeria in the 1920s, a rabbi's cat who learns how to speak after swallowing the family parrot expresses his desire to convert to Judaism.

Directors: Antoine Delesvaux, Joann Sfar
Stars: Mathieu Amalric, Hafsia Herzi, François Damiens
Animation | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A taxi driver who lives in Napoli spend his time on his uncle's car thinking about happiness. His former brother took a road for happiness practicing Buddhism while he is always sad and ... See full summary »

Director: Alessandro Rak
Stars: Leandro Amato, Nando Paone, Renato Carpentieri
Wrinkles (2011)
Animation | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

An astonishing cocktail of friendship, resistance and life set among the unexpected landscape of an elderly care facility.

Director: Ignacio Ferreras
Stars: Tacho González, Álvaro Guevara, Mabel Rivera
We Were Here I (2011)
Documentary | Biography | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A deep and reflective look at the arrival and impact of AIDS in San Francisco and how individuals rose to the occasion during the first years of this unimaginable crisis.

Directors: David Weissman, Bill Weber
Stars: Ed Wolf, Daniel Goldstein, Guy Clark
Chico & Rita (2010)
Animation | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Chico is a young piano player with big dreams. Rita is a beautiful singer with an extraordinary voice. Music and romantic desire unites them, but their journey - in the tradition of the Latin ballad, the bolero - brings heartache and torment.

Directors: Tono Errando, Javier Mariscal, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Eman Xor Oña, Limara Meneses, Mario Guerra
Edit

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 ... Rama (voice)
Aladdin Ullah Aladdin Ullah ... Mareecha / Hanuman (voice)
Nitya Vidyasagar ... Luv / Kush (voice)
Nina Paley Nina Paley ... Nina (voice)
Deepti Gupta ... Kaikeyi (voice)
Edit

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 »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

12 August 2009 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

I sita tragoudaei ta blues See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

There are two cats in the film - Lexi and Bruno. Lexi is the striped cat that Nina and Dave had in San Francisco. Bruno is the black cat that Nina has in her apartment in New York. According to Nina Paley's Director's Commentary, Bruno does, in fact, sleep in Nina's armpit, as shown at the end of the movie. 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

Surphanaka: Dear brother, Ravana, have you seen Rama's wife Sita...? She is the most beautiful woman in the world. Her skin is fair like the lotus blossom. Her eyes are like lotus pools. Her hands are like... from... lotuses. Her breasts like... BIG... ROUND... FIRM... JUICY... LOTUSES.
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 »


Soundtracks

I've Got a Feeling I'm Falling
Music by Fats Waller and Harry Link
Lyrics by Billy Rose
Sung by Annette Hanshaw
Velvet Tone, 1929
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
the best animated musical of the decade... sorta
30 December 2009 | by Quinoa1984See all my reviews

Nina Paley is the kind of filmmaker that makes the auteur theory look dated. This isn't a case of a director putting her vision on the screen via a crew of technicians and a cast of actors. This IS her vision, down to all of the designs and animation, which she did over the course of five years (a dedication of time that recalls a director like David Lynch on Eraserhead or Inland Empire). It was all done on computer- reportedly only one intern helped animate some of a battle sequence- and it's being presented for free on the website for Sita Sings the Blues. And yet, if you have a chance (as I had) to see it on the big screen, it's one of the events of the year if you love animation and daring in film-making.

It's a personal story of Paley's break-up with her boyfriend (who did it, savagely, over email), and put into a context of the story of the Ramayana, an ancient Indian story about a woman, Sita, and her bond with the blue-skinned Rama over a lifetime. At the same time Paley uses animation and music and documentary and the free-wheeling expression of cinema to make it unconventional. We see Indian drawing figures ala Monty Python animation discussing story points as they go along, which name is who's and what detail really happened, etc. And then there are musical segments put to Annette Hanshaw, a 1920's jazz singer, to illustrate Sita's journey through the turbulent ups and downs of romance.

Sita Sings the Blues is joyous entertainment. One can tell that Paley was exorcising some past strife, namely from her own break-up that we see in the film in a scraggly Dr. Katz style of animation, but what's most striking is how it's tragedy is never ever a downer. On the contrary this is a comedy in a fresh sense, where the absurdity keeps coming in little unexpected ways, like with the figures of the monkeys in battle, or how the discussing members talk over the details of the Sita cast members. And the musical numbers are just about the best one has seen all decade (which goes without saying the lack of competition, but still), as we see Sita sing her feelings and thoughts, sometimes in happiness and sometimes totally down in the dumps (re: her pregnancy and abandonment after being rescued).

There's a complex web of emotions that Paley navigates through, and she does it so confidently that it's hard not to marvel at her achievements here. It's an independent film in the best sense of the word, the truest sense, uncompromised by studio interference or for any kind of 'demographic'. It's a dark comic feminist musical fable that includes an intermission, a cast of hundreds (animated, not voiced), and it strikes up your heartstrings in the best possible ways. It's a post-modern breakthrough, and I can't wait to revisit it, oh, right about now I would say.


10 of 10 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 41 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Popular Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed