Sita Sings the Blues

Alt-cartoonist Nina Paley's imaginative, giddily witty, visually delicious animated take on the Ramayana, the ancient Sanskrit epic was a favorite at SIFF last year. Sita, wife of Lord Rama and the ultimate paragon of womanly virtue, is abducted by 10-headed king Ravana; in typical blame-the-victim fashion, she spends the rest of her life with her purity in doubt. Paley put together the whole gorgeous thing on her personal computer: Scenes from her own breakup (Paley's husband done her wrong, too) are rendered in jerky pencil sketches, interlaced with the Indian myth told via found art manipulated in an overtly two-dimensional style, kind of like the trippiest South Park episode imaginable. Bollywood is the obvious inspiration for the bold colors and the production numbers, but the music comes mostly from lo-fi '20s recordings by all-but-forgotten chanteuse Annette Hanshaw. Mere irreverence would be too easy—the film's an affectionate and affecting, if often hilarious, telling of a classic tale. (NR) GAVIN BORCHERT

May 29-31, 7 & 9:15 p.m.; June 2-4, 7 & 9:15 p.m., 2009

 
comments powered by Disqus