Sita at the Starlite, Thursday July 21st

Come see Sita Sings the Blues in Queens!

Thursday July 21st
5pm to 8pm
Starlite Pavillion
130-05 101st Avenue
Richmond Hill, NY 11419 (map)
Admission: $5

I will be there for a panel discussion afterwards, along with Aseem Chhabra (aka Shadow Puppet ), Ravisharon Kaur, and Bina Mahabir.

There’s an extra special reason you should attend this screening: it was organized, at great effort, by a devout Hindu, Rohan Narine, for a largely Hindu audience. He originally set it up at his Mandir, but after a while someone nixed it. Then he rescheduled it at a Hindu senior center, and again, after a while, someone else nixed it. Finally he chose the neutral Starlite Pavillion, and of course the Hindutvadi fundamentalists want to “protest” it (in their usual classy way, by sending hundreds of batshit emails). Now, there have been thousands of Sita Sings the Blues screenings, but this is the first one to be specifically targeted. Why? Because this screening was organized by actual devout Hindus, and  the Hindutvadis can’t stand that. So please, show some love for our real Hindu friends, and come to this screening.

Still not sure? Here’s Hinduism Today‘s endorsement of Sita Sings the Blues.



Update: Tyrants only have power if you give it to them. Unfortunately, the Starlite Pavillion just canceled the Sita Sings the Blues screening.


Author: Nina Paley

Animator. Director. Artist. Scapegoat.

12 thoughts on “Sita at the Starlite, Thursday July 21st”

  1. Thanks for this posting! Just so everyone knows, even this venue, Starlite Pavilion, cancelled the screening over too many “threats” and “abusive e-mails.”

    So, I’ve decided to have this screening in my living room with catered food, seating for fifty people, and a microphone system for theh panel discussion afterward. This will be taped and aired on you tube to show all the “devout” Hindu’s in India that it was indeed shown, discussed, and documented.

  2. Hi Nina,
    Really sorry to hear about this whole ‘tamasha’! After doing the HT piece, I did run it on Lassi with Lavina too and it was liked by all. I hope this at-home screening goes well.
    Best, Lavina

  3. Dear Nina: This is a true pity. I saw your film at the JCC a few months back and just adored it – have recommended it to my (Hindu) family and friends. Those protesters have nothing better to do !

  4. I’d love to attend if that’s an option…I promise I’m not a (sad) hindutva tyrant 🙂

  5. I am interested in attending. If not possible, I look to buying a DVD.
    Yes, I believe in freedom of expression.

  6. Hi Everyone… and Nina,

    I just found out about this film a few hours ago and I have been browsing the web about it since. Now Nina, it is my understanding that this film is a reflection of your own marriage based on the story of Rama and Sita. You expressed your own personal feelings and used the story Ramayan as an outlet to do so. Well here are my feelings!

    Artistically speaking, your film is fabulous. The music is excellent, as many have already mentioned. The colors are beautiful. I really enjoyed how you rendered the film from a technical point of view.

    I want you to know that I am no Hindu fanatic. I am an 18 year old Indian-American girl who has been brought up in America her whole life, but brought up by parents with a strong Hindu background. Yes I hit the clubs and know how to have a great time as a typical American teenager. But at the same time, I also know how to say Hindu prayers and I participate in Hindu rituals. I practice the religion but I am no fanatic and this is no hate mail. So please don’t get the wrong impression everyone. I’m really just a girl who felt a deep lump in her throat when she saw an image of Kaikeyi straddling King Dasharatha in stripper clothes, when Sita was called blood-thirsty, when Rama kicked Sita into the fire and walked all over her pregnant body. I mean, Nina, I know you’re not ignorant of the story. I know you were trying to draw parallels with the Ramayan and your own life. But it’s hard for Hindus to accept that the American public’s view of the Ramayan has to involve these kinds of false images. A normal Christian wouldn’t like to see Mother Mary wearing a thong and strutting her stuff because a Hindu felt like expressing her feelings through that image. Nor would a Buddhist like to see an image of Buddha smoking a cigarette and drinking Chardonnay for the same reason. Manipulating the story of any religion to fit your own personal emotions is not the best thing to do. Lots of people love the story of Ramayan and look at it as a guide to a good life – which is what it was intended for. Kids like me see people like you using that and changing the whole meaning of it and that’s what hurts us. I hope you understand that I don’t hate you for this and I appreciate your artistic efforts. Using Ramayan, a story that I personal love as do millions of others, was just not the right way to do that.

    I have no right to tell you to take down our film nor will I actually try to do that. But my aim out of this message was to convey to you (just like you wished to convey your feelings about your marriage) that there are lots and lots of people out there (forget the crazy Hindu fanatics) but normal Indian American kids out there like me that are truly insulted by some of these images. Just keep that in mind.

  7. Sneha,
    Do I understand your comment correctly in that you have not actually watched the film?

  8. Dear Nina,
    Last week I read about the protest rallied by Rajeev Gupta and his hindujagruti mob.
    Today I read these bigots succeeded to prevent the screening, in the U S of A, the land of the free…..

    Looking forward to Rohans YouTube.
    Freedom of speech will win!

  9. This is truly sad to see. I second Maneesh’s question to Sneha: Has she actually seen the movie? She appears to contradict herself during her little diatribe … stinks of a troll.

    @Nina: Loved the movie when I saw it a couple of years ago.

  10. “but normal Indian American kids out there like me that are truly insulted by some of these images. Just keep that in mind.”

    yeah so?

    there’s an unbelievable amount of stuff in the world that have me feeling “truly insulted” by just scratching the surface of it, what makes you think you should have a free pass on it because it involves your belief/culture?

    nothing is a sacred cow anymore, never was, i’ve seen million times more offensive stuff casually on youtube than this movie and don’t see me writing huge walls of tears about it

    fact is, nobody owns ideas or culture (although many like to think they do) and you sure can’t control what people do, even if you try and stamp it out it’s no guarantee it will go away infact alot of times i’ve seen that it makes the situation worse (look up “Streisand Effect”)

    just knowing that people are this out of touch with reality to actually sit and send hatemail enmasse to try and bully people into what they want because they don’t like what it is a million times more offensive and insulting than this movie could EVER be to hindus

    just keep that mind

  11. Sorry you are having to go through all this. Fundamentalism, inferiority complexes, and perpetual state of victimhood despite incredible privilege seems to be the dominant political expression of some Indian Americans who learned it from others who have perfected the art of sanctimonious outrage. Then again, banning films and books is par for the course in India, lest someone start a riot (ahimsa becomes himsa very fast).

    Pity really, as these Hindutwads make Hinduism look as intolerant and wacko as all the other fundamentalist fanatics out there.

    I loved Sita Sings the Blues and you should be proud of it, despite the lunacy and sheer hypocrisy evident on the part of the fanatics.

  12. Dear Nina! I have enjoyed your film for years now, whenever I have a chance to see it. I am also an animator and a filmmaker, still dreaming to do my own feature;I’ve done some shorts and got an award or two…Animation is in my blood, and I see that you mastered it superbly. Love, absolutely LOVE your sense of humor! You are a fine filmmaker and I am wondering what are you doing now?
    I would be thrilled if you’d answer me. But, don’t worry about it I know that the time is money.
    Best of everything to you from
    Marija Miletic Dail

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *