I’ve mentioned Nina Paley and her wonderful Sita Sings the Blues several times before. And now (hooray!) the film is finally finished and released as a full-length animated feature. I love the way the shadow puppets argue over the story… And Nina has even released it under a Creative Commons licence.
And as an additional incentive to support Nina, I hand you over to Rheinhard on Pharyngula:
Also of great importance about this film: The reason that you can only see this film on the net this way and can’t buy it on DVD is because of the insane copyright law in the country. The film uses a number of late 1920s jazz recordings by Annette Hanshaw which, although the recordings are in the public domain, the songs she is singing are still in copyright to various holding companies. The composers of these songs are long dead and this music should have been in the public domain years ago, but because of the ridiculous permanent extension of copyright (thanks Disney!) these companies have demanded exorbitant sums (over $50K!) from the broke indie animator Nina Paley to show or distribute the film. The only reason PBS can show it is because it has different rules regarding copyright permissions! Please, if you care about this film and the ability of artists to have their work seen by the public, check out QuestionCopyright and Nina Paley’s blog for more info!