Asian Indians in Livingston in collaboration with the Livingston library will sponsor screening of “Sita sings the Blues” on September 6th at 6:00 p.m. in the Livingston Library, S. Livingston Avenue (near the High School).
Sita, more than any other character, is an integral part of the Indian woman’s psyche. At every stage of an Indian woman’s life, her name is invoked. Anju Bhargava found it amazing that one great epic written by a poet thousands of years ago has shaped and continues to shape and reshape the thinking of an entire culture. And, how certain aspects of a character have been emphasized more than others to suit the political and societal norms of the day. They have been understood or misunderstood to manage relationships through control and power. She has often wondered what the impact of Ramayan to the Indian culture would have been if it these characters had not been canonized. What if the popular cultural focus was not primarily on the Sita agni parikshay. What if the characters were understood as the flesh and blood characters that Valmiki was attempting to bring to life in his great poem! This reflection of Sita took her further along in her own quest of understanding Indian womanhood. In many respects she has come back full circle. She was ambivalent towards Sita, then rejected her, and now has come to accept her as an Indian cultural icon. She shares her understanding of Sita in her essay www.sitayanam.com .
This will be the first screening I attend equipped with the long-awaited “limited edition festival screener” DVDs, which of course I can’t legally sell, but I’ll have a box of ’em for all you “movie reviewers.” And of course you can legally donate to the artist, who is currently homeless, broke and in debt.