Because it is brilliant.
It is basically The Ramayana from Sita’s perspective. Her story is juxtaposed with that of the cartoonist, who herself is enduring a bad breakup from her husband. I know there are some raised eyebrows from the Hindu community, namely the portrayal of the story and missing out the elements of the story that make Rama’s actions “make sense” i.e. time period, expectations of women, etc. However, the point of the Ramayana (and any other story/epic) is to inspire, and perhaps even provide comfort as the case seems to be here.
Check out Nina Paley’s blog as well. She bills herself as “America’s Best-Loved, Unknown Cartoonist.” I get the feeling she’s not going to be unknown for much longer.
In Sita, the cartoonist finds someone not unlike herself, faced with the sudden separation from her husband, whom she loves without boundaries. The story is wonderfully narrated by three, Indonesian shadow puppets, and the animation of Sita’s story and the cartoonist Nina Paley’s story are animated differently, both styles adding another dimension to each story. I think I liked the songs the most–all rendered by Annette Henshaw, a singer who sang the songs during the twenties–it was as though the songs were made for the film.
It aired on PBS New York (WNET) last night, however the full, streaming movie is available here: