Wednesday, 17 May 2017

World Animation | Film Review | Sita Sings the Blues

Fig 1. Sita Sings the Blues Film Cover

In order for a company of animators to create a 3d or even 2d animation it would take a large amount of time and perseverance to complete a film. Nina Paley manages to create a delightful and culturally fit film. By "Pairing aggressive visuals with art-history chops and anything-goes ideology, she’s made something universal and completely unique." (Fears, 2011)

The film in question is Sita Sings the Blues. It seems to be that people are divided upon their views on this film, as some feels it doesn't represent the Hindu religion properly, Unfortunately Paley suffered a lot of backlash for this animation because of these reasons and more. As Paley made Sita Sings the Blues on her own, she was the boss of all creative choices. This lead to her having a few different animations styles used throughout the film "Paley's penchant for mixing styles - slick computer animation, chicken-scratch comic-strip drawings, and rapid-fire photo collages - only underlines the myriad of methods for spinning the same yarn, though the musical vignettes court repetitiveness," (Fears ,2011) The mis-matching of music, as the animation was based upon a Hindu epic was unforgivable for some people.

Fig 2. Rama and Sita

Despite taking a brave approach which didn't pay off so well, there was a personal story of Nina interwoven into the story of Ramayana. Now this probably was the reason for the backfire as Nina is from America."Sita Sings the Blues' is based on an adaptation of the Ramayana, a Hindu epic, and some Hindus find the film offensive. Hinduism has a strong scriptural tradition of commentary and debate; there is often virulent disagreement," (Haas, 2011)

It can be argued that Nina received large amounts of backlash for associating her story of being betrayed by a man with the story of Ramayana. But despite all of the controversy around the creation of Sita Sings the Blues, if you stand back and watch it from an artist's perspective you can at least see this more of a piece of visual art, that is both widely risky but also daring and stunning. It can be seen as more of a visual marvel as it was one person who generated everything behind this film. It clearly took a lot of determination from Nina to remain resilient and still release the animation despite suffering large copyright implications. This of course meaning Nina does not make money from the film other than receiving donations from loyal fans to her work.


Fear, D. (2011) Sita Sings the Blues At: Accessed on: 15/05/2017

Haas, S. (2011) 'Sita Sings the Blues' Brings out the Bullies At: Accessed on:15/05/2017

Image Sources

Fig 1. Sita Sings the Blues [Film Cover] At: Accessed 15/05/2017

Fig 2. Rama and Sita [Film Screenshot] At: Accessed on: 15/05/2017

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