How a Breakup Reinvented the Ramayana

Sita Agni

Myths are archetypes. They seem to hold in them the universal story that encompasses the essence of all that we are.

The test of a living myth is if it provides vivifying waters to the parched mode of individual existence. If it does not connect at the level of the individual psyche and alter the balance within, then it reduces to being a mere story.

Perhaps Joseph Campbell, in the Power of Myth, puts it best when he says-

“The latest incarnation of Oedipus, the continued romance of Beauty and the Beast, stands this afternoon on the corner of Forty-second Street and Fifth Avenue, waiting for the traffic light to change.”

Roger Ebert on his blog, speaks about a new rendering of the Ramayana.[Note the entry appeared on my Google Reader, for some reason the link on the header seems to be broken and does not land at the blog itself. Pick it from my shared posts here.]

The common place is often only a perception away from being a profound story of mankind.

A break-up, common in these harrowing times, of Nina Paley, leads her to plunge into the Ramayana. Sri Rama’s treatment of Sita, causing her to commit sati and be re-born, finds a modern echo within Nina. Instead of drowning in the fires of despondency, Nina forges the Ramayana brand new.

A break-up instead of becoming a statistic and a lasting wound, ends up being a catalyst of life-affirming creativity through myth.

I have seen a few stills from another review here and they seem to be amazing.

Not sure what options exist in India to catch this one. Please drop a comment if you have a means to see this movie in Bangalore.

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