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Sita Sings The Blues, Opening Credit Track, Hindu Cosmology and Sita in Space

A lesson in Hindu Cosmology from the opening credit track of Nina Paley's wonderful film "Sita Sings the Blues"

Song and artist: Sita in Space by Todd Michaelsen (most of the original music for the film is by him)

The stuck gramophone song is Moanin’ Low in the voice of  1920's Jazz legend Annette Hanshaw. [original song at youtube]

Also, in that credit track, the people who know their Bollywood would surely recognize 'jaadoo signature tune for E.T. ' by Rajesh Roshan for Hindi film of year 2000 'Koi...Mil Gaya'. [check it out the tune at youtube]

'Sita Sings The Blues' beautifully re-tells the story of Sita from the ancient Hindu epic(s) of Ramayan and, in a parallel narrative, tells a personal story from the life of this film's creator. Of couse the story from Ramayan is the same: Sita is kidnapped by demon king Ravan. Sita sings (in the lovable microphone voice of Annette Hanshaw) for her husband Ram. Ram fights Ravan and (with some local monkey help) rescues Sita. But on returning to the Kingdom of Ayodhaya, Sita is asked to give proof of her love, piety and devotion for her husband Lord Ram. Sita has to prove to everyone that she is still pure. [In the end she goes down into earth, Mother Earth]

'Sita Sings The Blues' tells this story in the most magnificent and quirky animated way.

And to think that this miracle of a film would not have been available to all for viewing because of copyright issues.

The News as of 2008-12-03 was:
After pouring three years of her life into making the film, and having great success with audiences at festival screenings, she now can't distribute it, because of music licensing issues: the film uses songs recorded in the late 1920's by singer Annette Hanshaw, and although the recordings are out of copyright, the compositions themselves are still restricted. That means if you want to make a film using these songs from the 1920s, you have to pay money — a lot of money (around $50,000.00).
Read more about the films struggle with copyright at

And now after much efforts on part of its maker and supporters, Sita Sings The Blues is available for free

Download or Watch the entire film at or better still (in more formats and sizes) at Cutting The Chai


Sita Sings the Blues by Nina Paley is licensed under a
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