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Watch “Sita Sings the Blues” online

February 26, 2009

Sita is a goddess separated from her beloved Lord and husband Rama. Nina is an animator whose husband moves to India, then dumps her by e-mail. Three hilarious shadow puppets narrate both ancient tragedy and modern comedy in this beautifully animated interpretation of the Indian epic Ramayana. Set to the 1920’s jazz vocals of Annette Hanshaw, Sita Sings the Blues earns its tagline as “The Greatest Break-Up Story Ever Told.”

Watch the full film on Reel 13 right now:

If you are having trouble seeing the video, please click here to help us diagnose the problem.

We now have a hi res version (720p 3Mbps) available for download:

  • View Comments
  • Charlie


  • Alan

    I’ve been waiting forever to see this. Thank you very much, WNET!

  • C.

    Thank you so much for putting this up. It’s greatly appreciated.

  • M_Man

    Thank You very much Thirteen for showing this in its entirety. I’ve been really looking forward to watching Ms. Paley’s animation.

  • D. Blackthorn

    Thanx 13! This is yet another reason I’m proud to be a member!

  • Libby

    Saw this movie at a local festival, and am SO happy to see it again! Thank you for posting! PLEASE NINA, RELEASE THE DVD!!!!

  • Julie

    Brilliant! Danka!

  • Drakar

    So what’s the difference between this version and the other one at this site, posted here:

  • Amy

    Fantastic!!!! I’ve been waiting to watch Sita in her entirety for ages. It was even better than expected. Thanks so much.

  • rax

    Absolutely love the movie. Bravo.

  • Lois

    Hope it will be here longer so I can finish it. Great start.

  • rayshma

    hey Ms.paley,
    you brought the real essence of indian mythology n asthetics thru your own intepretation..the movie came out best because of your understanding of mythology..n the characters which you have designed are absolutely mind blowing..especially lakshmi..she looks stunning with her Contemporary look..
    i had never imagined goddess of earth will look this brilliant thru your art..
    lottsa thanx to bring the real story of sita to the world..HATS OFF !!!!!
    keep rokking !!!!!

  • zuzka


  • David

    This is amazing! I can honestly say I’d never imagined watching a whole movie in a little web browser window, but this movie had be hooked from the start. I can’t wait to watch it again on a larger screen.

  • Kenny Cross

    Thank you thank you thank you! I’ve been following the story of this movie thanks to Roger Ebert and now I finally got to see this amazing movie. The music I have fallen in love with.

    You have made my week, month, heck year so far. Awesome.

  • mary spoores

    Thank you for sharing.I just finished watching it and I will be watching it again.Totally awsome..I watched it full screen and the colors and animation was so beautiful,bravo..and thank you again

  • krupali

    Nina: It’s a fantastic film, and I enjoyed watchng it on full screen in LA a few months ago….your hard work, endurance, and enthusiasm for this piece is fantastic. I’m so excited it’s finally up—i’m sharing this with EVERYONE I know! :)

  • Teleny Parrish

    I’m speechless! It’s…well, everything as beautiful as Push Pin Graphics, and the Beatles, and well…all those cool kids’ books I read cause Mom couldn’t afford new ones (and are now worth a fortune…lost ’em though)…But wow! And I’ve never read the Ramayana…Double happiness!

  • Racs

    Why dont u draw same video with Jesus Christ dancing around trees.

  • Jennifer Fisher

    THIS IS BRILLIANT!!! I can’t wait for the April 4th CineFest Release here in Philadelphia, PA!

    Thank you, THANK YOU Nina for sharing this film with the rest of us! It’s a beautiful, touching and superbly crafted work of art. And to top it all, it is hilarious! I loved every minute of it :)

  • fakename

    The little square button next to the slider takes you fullscreen.

  • growler

    This is going up on on March 7, in a high-res version, which you will be able to download for free.

  • bjamn

    beautiful, lively and full of wit. thanks for the hard work- inspirational. What an autere

  • S. Sarkar

    This was AMAZING!!!! Countless props to Nina Paley for her five years of rigorous work and for sticking it to the man by sharing it in with everybody!

  • Rachel

    I got 40 minutes into the movie, got totally obsessed, then it disappeared! “Not available at this time???” Please bring it back!

  • Lori


  • chris l.

    Kudos to Thirteen for showing this. It’s a really wonderful film.

    The last “That’s all” just killed me.

  • Sal

    this is a miracle of beauty… I watched it twice in one night. Amazing.

  • Sukh


  • adrian

    Fantastic !! i laughed ,i cried i learned i saved it in my favortes (of all time) very well done ..

  • C M Rubano

    I first encountered this film about three years ago, when Nina posted short clips to her website. My girlfriend and I were floored by those amazing glimpses. I’m so glad it’s finally coming out! In a bit of irony, my girlfriend and I are no longer together. I guess you could say I pulled a Rama on her, so to me, this movie is especially poignant. Life is funny that way.

  • Susanna & Laura

    Pure greatness.

  • BCM

    Totally blown away …
    Gonna’ find the DVD where ever that may be.
    Cheers to Nina Paley.

  • Bryan Sierra

    I watched this film with my 9 year old daughter and it sparked conversations about mythologies, indian culture, jazz music. It was amazing to watch my daughter make wonderful observations throughout the film. Thank you Nina Paley for making this film.

  • Mike

    Anyone else getting the error “The selected item is not currently available”?

  • Karla


  • dave

    If you get that “unavailable” message, try reloading the page, seems to do the trick.

  • Paul Freidlich

    Yeah it’s having issues, but keep trying. Servers must be stretched. It’s PBS, cut em some slack, they’re not exactly Google.

  • July

    Was original. Could have been better. Was ok. Good job.

  • Wolf Lahti

    Um… These are not shadow puppets, which are shown only in silhoutette.

  • Evan

    Thank you so much Nina! Huge respect to you and to everyone else involved in this wonderful film. You’re a genius. That’s all.

  • Luc Latulippe

    Spectacular! Really lovely work! Bravo!

  • Dan the Man

    Some pig managed to claim copyright infringement apparently. D:

  • Erick

    I would like to be able to download the movie. How can I do that? It’s painful to rely on the streaming speed of this website. Thanks.

  • Sabrina

    Finally!! I saw this at the Redcat last year and am so psyched it’s available to see again. Too bad I can’t have a DVD version though. D:

  • Nina Paley

    Thanks y’all!

    For those who want downloads/DVDs: many more formats will be online by March 7th, the day Sita Sings the Blues airs on WNET TV (part of Reel 13 on March 7 at 10:45 pm). These will be higher resolution and free to copy and share. If you want a copy, please wait for the higher quality formats instead of capturing the very compressed (although good for its size – well done 13!) streaming version. As the artist, I want the highest quality versions to circulate; it’d be sad if a super-compressed capture started torrenting first. Together, we can keep quality high!

    In a month or two I hope to have signed “pre-downloaded” DVDs available for sale. Please check
    for updates.

  • Mikey Junior

    The selection is currently not available?

  • edgertor

    it’s playing ok now for me…

  • peacefrog_0521

    To paraphrase Patton: “Rama, you magnificent bastard, I READ YOUR BOOK !!!”

  • Justin

    This is rocking my world, Big grats to Nina for working to get this out and her Exceptional skill as an artist.

  • fishkin


  • Shaun

    I live in Canada. Thanks for not giving me the dreaded, “This video is not available in your country”, message. The internet should have no borders.

  • Mike N

    This is SO cool!

  • Pierre D.

    Excellent ! Bravo !

  • Leslie

    Thank you thank you! I’ve been waiting months to see Sita Sings the Blues. My previous comments here:

  • sitasingstheblues

    “The selected item is not currently available” @
    or @
    …spoiled our sunday morning :( great artwork though :)!!! why not put this on youtube too (more reliable)? again great story-telling!!!

  • James Dean

    Wow, I think you might be onto something dude.


  • Bill Reed

    Beautifully designed. The animation is delightful. Loved it, thank you.

  • Antoine

    Totally awesome !!
    I am kind of frustrated by the ending though…what happens to the woman afterwards ? What does she learn from the indian tale ? I suppose one has to find his own answers, but it seems to stop too suddenly for me…
    Anyway, great work, funny as hell and great to be able to watch it for free !! Thanks a lot :)

  • Christiann

    Awesome! I’ve been a fan of Nina Paley’s work for a while, it’s always fresh and thought provoking. Great music choice too. I suggest checking out her website where you can see some more of her work, it’s

  • Ivy

    What an amazing film! I am totally blown away, and so excited that the film center where I work will be showing it on the big screen this week! Will be doing my own review of the film as my “eyecandy movie of the month” on

  • Bri

    Aw! The selected item is not currently available – pooh, I missed out in a big way. :( As a product of the New School, I’d love to see a professor’s work – plus I’m currently enamored with Bollywood and working on an adaptation of my own. Double pout! Hope this will return, or at least air on my channel 13!

  • El Nadir

    Thank you so much for sahring with the world such beauty work!, really a piece of geniality ( hope i wrote it right) cheers from Spain!!!

  • lonerider26

    It’s not playing, and I’ve reloaded it at least a hundred times. Can someone help me please?

  • rich

    It is working now (for me at least)

  • BatCat

    I don’t know why it’s working for some but not others. I was halfway through at 6:00 pm EST and it became unavailable. Still won’t work! I loved what I saw – wonderful animation and creativity – but now I’m dying to finish it.

  • Abha

    Thank you so much for making this movie available. The visuals are adorable:)


  • VirginiaK

    An elegant and astonishing movie, I saw it in New York and look forward to seeing it again – thank you, Nina, for your generosity in making it available this way.

  • Emily

    Sooooooooooooo good. This would be a must-own for me if it came out on DVD.

  • Caren

    loved this movie! thank you

  • Ayanna

    Loved everything about it.

  • Supryo

    Nina, thanks for making this movie – something that’s been waiting to be made since “sometime” B.C. Simply stated – more power to you, and to other voices just like yours! And yes, great art as well! Congratulations.

  • caitlin

    why is it saying currently not available???
    it only let me watch half of it and it’s so good!

  • Drakar

    it’s not playing for me either at the moment – let’s just hope it’s only because they turn their servers off on sunday nights, not something worse…

  • EichaelThe0ne

    I just donated $8 to her cause. DONATE Thanks,, for supporting the discussion of independent artist’s rights to reproduce works without intent to profit.

  • Tal Greywolf

    I believe that the issue with the “not available” error is that the servers which host the video are being heavily slammed to feed the film. I know I’ve seen issues where the film will stutter but keep playing.

    That having been said, I have watched this film and can see why critics have been raving about this film. Not only is it a massive undertaking by a single individual, it embodies all that is wonderful about film making in a single movie. It’s also a rebuttal to those who think that animation is meant only for children and that you can’t tell a true narrative via animation. The story of Sita (along with the parallel story of Nina Paley’s breakup) is displayed fully, matched by the music of Annette Hanshaw. It’s a film that can be watched by anyone, and the themes cleanly laid out to understand.

    Ms. Paley, creativity will eventually win out.

  • Badjuk

    Sooo sweet ^_^

  • krakit

    What a talented delivery of such a sad
    tragedy. Rama is so stupid for putting
    what others think of him above the innocent

    My favorite parts are when the 3 commentators
    would give their knowledge and opinions on
    the various events in the Ramayana.

  • elza

    J’ai vu ce film au festival d’avignon l’année dernière, et n’ai pu m’empêcher d’en parler à tout le monde depuis (non, vraiment!) vivement qu’il puisse sortir de prison! Superbe travail, Nina, merci!

  • Kathy Engelhard

    Nina, this is so spectacular! I love everything about your movie & I look forward to meeting you in person at an ASIFA SF event!

  • CJ

    Wonderful! All of the different animation styles were amazing! Love it!

  • DarkAntiCrista

    All versions I find say they’re not available. *sad*

  • Lindsay

    Oh… I really wanted to watch it but it says its not available… *cries*

  • Drakar

    The 480P version as posted on is now available as a torrent –

  • Dan

    Absolutely beautifull Nina! I’m sorry you had to go through that, but I thank you for all the people you have amazed with your work.

  • Julian Hymson

    looking forward to being with you and your program. First venture

  • Teka Lynn

    Wonderful! I’ve wanted to see this for years. The finished product is more than worth the wait. Congratulations, Nina, your work is a classic.

  • Matt

    wow. simply wow.

  • Oneika

    From the release of this film I have badly wanted to see it, but I was living in a part of the world where these great indie animation feature films rarely have a release (the Caribbean). I have been following Nina’s progress in trying to get the film distributed and I am glad that 13 (one of my favourite channels) decided to do this. Thank you for allowing me to see a great animated work that I otherwise wouldn’t have been able to.

  • Ruth Mendes

    Absolutely brilliant! The quality of the graphics is surpassed only by the musical blend. Is there more created by this wonderful group of talents?

  • Drakar

    the torrent has moved just slightly, for anyone who still wants to get it.

  • Misty

    Thank you technogeeks through the ages, thank you, Nina. Thank you and blessings, Channel 13. Brilliant.

  • Cristin McKee

    Thank you for creating such a beautiful film and sharing your story.

  • imv

    is a DVD available anywhere? is is potentially an amazing gift!!


    Where are the studios that care about quality in story and song? The establishment should be ashamed for letting this one sit on the shelf.. Be Proud Nina! Here’s wishing you great success in the future. Your awesome.. I enjoyed every frame! YOUR SO AWESOME!

    THAT’S ALL!…..

  • mance01

    I am also getting the “Selected Item is Not Currently Available” message. Also the new high-res version for download is not visible for me. Could I be having problems because I’m using a Mac or Firefox?

  • Robert Thompson

    The HD download is utterly superb! Every bit worth my $2.00 donation. Thank you, Reel13!!!!

  • Carmen

    I am having trouble seeing. Is says it is not available. I am using Mozilla.
    Could you help me please?


  • rob s

    @ Carmen ^^ – scroll up to where it says “We now have a hi res version (720p 3Mbps) available for download”. And download the full film in hi def!

  • sidd

    where is Lakshmana in this story?
    Rama was accompanied by his brother through out the story.

  • Neeta

    I came upon this link accidentally and I just want to say that this is one of the best animation movies I have ever seen. It was absolutely amazing and couldnt take my eyes off it for a sec.

    Great Job

  • Kis

    Been trying to watch it for days now but can’t.It doesnt stream properly. *sigh*

  • Joe A

    Amazing! That’s all.

  • pjs

    wonderful! enjoyed every minute and am about to go to nina paley’s website and make a donation. the streaming worked perfectly for me on a slow-ish internet connection.

  • picololo

    you can also go to it is a great search engine to find free streaming movies shows animes series cartoons

  • Carrster

    Watched this beautiful & funny film last night at the Fargo Film Festival! I’m so excited that it’s online. I plan on blogging about it and sending it to all my friends to see! Thanks for this wonderful work.

  • rachel

    That was fantastic so colourful and visually stimulating. Thanks a feast for my eyes

  • Harene

    As an aspiring illustrator and animator this was very inspirational.

  • Sooraj

    Astounding carfts(wo)manship! Brilliant, witty, funny … superb to say the least. Thank you for making this film, it was a joy and inspiration to experience.

  • Tanya

    So. utterly. thrilling! Nina Paley thank you so much. Its so amazing to see how a myth can be sooo relevant for us today. Still, the Ramayana is being told…but that voice which was for so long silent is singing loud n clear in a tone and language we all understand. Very inspiring work. I love it, and i love Sita 😉

  • D

    Beautiful !

  • Natarajan

    Nina Paley, congratulations to you for making this wonderful and brilliant animation work. How come Technopark Trivandrum is mentioned! My only remark is that you may have hastened the final part which was quite delicate and intriguing to many which is the rift between Rama’s longing for Seetha and his sense of duties. Late G Aravindan made a fabulous movie in 1977 on this theme (Kanchana Seeetha) based on Sreekantan Nair’s play. Thanks again and we look forward to seeing more of your work.

  • Peter

    WOW…I wasn’t expecting this level of quality….This was great…Thank you Nina Paley

  • Vaishnav

    At the least i would call it interesting. Personally I was very impressed. It is one of a kind, a unique representation (not interpretation) of Ramayana. Its unique in its graphics and juxtaposition of Annette Hanshaw’s blues into Ramayana. It has its funny moments, especially the 3 Indian sounding voices, who in the movie, try to provide there interpretation of the events.

    Not to say that there are no flaws. It is not accurate to Valmiki’s Ramayana and Nina Paley has taken lenience in here interpretation of the epic. The reason i bring this up is because the movie in its initial credits highlights on the point that it is based on Valmiki’s Ramayana.

  • malini

    Very nice work,loved the animation, singing and music. It is a pity that the narrators were so unsure about the epic.

  • Steve and Judy

    We loved it. Nina Paley should do more like this.

  • Paul

    Sad, funny and brilliant. I’m wiping the tears from my eyes as I type. Thank you, Nina.

  • Namah

    This is art. And this “interpretation” is promising about the mythos.

  • Chakrabarty

    Simply delightful.
    fabulous interpretation and love the ambiguity and clamour of Indians at discussion.

    thank you

  • amy

    This is the best “indie” yet, imho. Expands my world, in a playful way. I’ve given money to support this. Hate those Doo Wop marathons.

  • R H

    Utterly tragic, beautiful, inspiring. Thank you Ms Paley. Thank you, 13.

  • Nina P.

    Flipping channels and found this on 13 tonight. Beautiful animation, music, and adaptation! Funny thing is my name is Nina and my boyfriend’s name is Dave. Look forward to seeing more by you Nina Paley!

  • Phyllis

    Brilliant ! Have been eagerly awaiting this interpretation after seeing many Ramayanas in South Asia……….loved it.
    A million thanks to Nina Paley and WNET.

  • Bella

    Brilliant! Thank you WNET. Thank you Nina Paley.

  • Herbert Siegel

    Ms. Paley you removed me from the present depressing state of THE WORLD SITUATION and carried me on your wings to a place of beauty. I have never seen such artistry in film. Your representation of this Indian Epic is masterful. I would like to know about your other work. I look forward to future
    productions. I still cannot get over the absolute beauty of what you created. I will want to see it again and again.I congradulate “13” for presenting your remarkable creation. Thank you all!!

  • Bronx Bell

    This is beautiful. Thank you Nina Paley and Reel 13! Nina, I’m looking forward to seeing some of your other work.

  • Neleigh


  • C L

    Kudos. I haven’t felt so inspired in a long, long time.

    This is one of those works of art that changes one’s life. Like, you’ll always remember where you were when you saw it.

    I have now watched the film once (on Channel 13 earlier), listened to it again (streaming from while working; and I’ve downloaded high-res versions from; and I’ve watched Paley’s interview on once and listened to it two or three more times while cleaning up the apartment. I’ve emailed everyone I know about it. And now I’m going to bed.

  • Bob Krueger

    Sita is a wonder for every age and inclination.Lovely!

  • boris

    Nina!Saw this movie at festivalanimations //Krok//
    in Kiev .Amazing!Diakuy!Thank you!

  • gogopedro

    Truly, a wonderful little film..
    Great job Nina.


  • marti polach

    Amazing creativity and integrity!

  • Missy

    Thank you Nina Paley!

  • Kevin

    Fantastic! It reminds me of “The Fountain.” Like three simultaneous love stories occurring in different ways based on mythology…

  • Keremcan

    WOW! Heard this movie from İf-İstanbul Film Festival and watched here.Thank you Nina Paley,Thank you 13!I especially enjoyed 3 commentators and the animation style in the New York episodes…

  • Shalu

    Wonderful movie! Thank you for hosting, it was a delight to see.

  • margarita fausta

    Nina, you have it all: imagination, style, fantasy, art, sense of humor. The most outrageous combination of artistic qualities! You kept me
    enjoying every surprising second of your film. Thanks to you, and the beautiful music. And Also to Channel 13 and Mr. Peña. Great choice.

  • mayaesalba

    Hi dear Nina: thanks for the magic of this film. I enyoyed it a lot. On the other hand I felt completely the pain of the women characters and the many rivers of tears women unfairly have shed.
    Great Mr. Peña and Channel 13

  • Doris Mann

    Wondeful production

  • Catherine Haran

    absolutely marvellous, I want to send it to everyone I know.

  • Vilkram R. Tolat

    Very creative! I’m impressed with the way Ramayan is presented to people in West from their way of looking at things. Thanks.

  • amierah

    WONDERFUL!!!!!!!!!! BRAVO!!!!! THIS IS GREAT – the drawing the music – and very brave to make it so personal – Nina screw that idiot! He’s not worth anything! —– Thank you to PBS and for putting it online
    Nina ~ how about giving us the Mahabarata?!!!???!!!
    Super! thanx

  • faith

    Nina..I felt like your Sita/you a few years is so great to see that there are more people who have to love & suffer so much. But in the end they win, even their heart breaks into pieces. Today, I remembered these times..thank you!!!! <3

  • Victoria List

    My husband and I became enthralled with the Ramayana through Ashok Banker’s inspired 21st century retelling. Nina’s parallel between her life and Sita’s, in brilliant animation and torch songs, is just as entertaining–and immensely enlightening for those of us who are new to Indian culture. Thank you!!!

  • vince

    check out also fo free movies online

  • Carol L. Skolnick, Clear Life Solutions

    This is one of the best films I’ve ever seen, animated or not – no kidding. Great work.

  • Vaia

    Just beautifully done!!

  • christian

    incredible. thank you.

  • Gagandeep

    Loved it ! Absolutely Brilliant work !

  • gavin

    it’s real good… really well done .. thanks a ton .. you’ll people are cool :)

  • Richard Wagenblast

    Yes, this is why we love 13. Thank you for giving my family and I a special Sunday afternoon treat – very happy to have watched this beautiful film.

  • Caroline Reddy

    Thank you so much for this amazing film! It was incredible and you are amazingly talented!

  • Astha

    really an awesum movie……brilliant piece…….one of the best movie ive ever seen….a modern view on an old story…..

  • jessica

    Watching the great epic Ramayana and then googling it up I somehow got into your site. I myself was highly impressed when I saw the episode when Ram tells Sita, ” Kings have been known to have many wives, but I have made a decision not to bring anyone else into my life, I make a promise to have only one wife-That is you Sita” Sita than touches Ram’s feet to which Ram says , ” Do not touch my feet, your place is in my heart, I will treat you as my friend not as a dasi ( Dasi was the term used to describe that women had to serve her husband). ”
    Many episodes later,after the forest exile, the kidnapping etc, Ram orders Lakshman to send Sita to the Ashram, he does so not because he mis-trusts Sita, but because he has to follow his Duty of a King- to do what is right for his people. It may sound absurd to us in today’s time but thousand’s of year’s ago Duty was the most important. That is why Ram himself left his luxorious life in the Palace and went to live in the forest. For Duty he did not even care for his own well being. Than how can we conclude that sending Sita to ashram was wrong by Ram’s part? The people of his kingdom did not trust the queen, and Ram felt it was his duty to care about his people. Yes it sounds hideous, but that was a different Era. We have to judge them according to their mindset’s not ours.
    Why is it that I see Ram as a person with positive values, who followed what he was told since he was a kid- To act in the interest of his people. When Kings enjoyed in the glory of having multiple queens, Ram chose to have only one.
    He could have easily married someone else after sending Sita to the ashram. But he did not. Don’t you think he too was suffering?
    He could have chosen to leave Sita with Ravan and get married to someone else, But he choose to go and save her.
    All his actions make me beleive that he was a Man with values. Why do u see otherwise?

    It is easy to compare Ram to your husband-who did something cruel to you. But for GOD’s sake do not mis-interpret what Ram is. Please don’t change Ram’s image.


  • Seth Ellis’ Class

    DANK, awesome, etc!

  • Eddie Vertigo

    Very wonderful, worthy of an Oscar, in my humble opinion. Thank you for making and sharing such a wonderful movie!

  • Srikanth

    I found this video when I was going through Kaltura API’s for my Masters project.

    First I was impressed to see how open source could help people in freely expressing their thoughts.But after watching the video, I think people should do that responsibly.

    The video claims that it was based on the Epic Ramyana written by Valmiki.I feel, who ever made this video,if they ever touched Valmiki’s Ramayana and read it once in their life time would have made a much better video and would have had a better perception of life,duties and why we “Human Beings” superior over other living beings.

    After going through all the comments I feel only one person,Jessica,understands the true meaning of Ramayana.Yes it is about duties and values,it is about people and not just your own family.When people realize that whole world is their family you will not see the wars and hatred based on race and color.

    Unfortunately nobody understands this,as Jessica pointed out “It may sound absurd to us in today’s time but thousand’s of year’s ago Duty was the most important…
    …but that was a different Era.”

  • Akanksha

    I read what Jessica and Srikanth had to say. But I have just 1 question…. why was Sita asked to go through the fire test when ihe results really didn’t affect her fate? She did spend her life in the ashram inspite of proving her purity while Ram continued to live a king’s life.
    Also, as Jessica said, the kings had numerous wives in that era. But I would like to point out that they protected each one of them till they lived. None of the wives was deserted to face the fury of the people. Also, marrying princess’ was a way of ensuring peace and unity among kingdoms rather than any other purpose. So Ram really did not exhibit a godly act by protecting his wife, even in that era.
    And when we talk about duties, why did Ram have no duties towards his sons.

  • Kunoichi Zero

    I read Jessica and Srikanth’s comments as well, and while you make a valid point about the original story being about Ram’s duty, it seems you’ve missed the whole point of this particular interpretation – that is, to show the other side. It is not meant to be a faithful, literal interpretation, rather this is showing things from Sita’s perspective, something that hadn’t really been done before, and also how that particular side of the story paralleled the creator’s own life. In that, it succeeds beautifully.

  • Reema

    thank you jessica for bringing this up so poignantly. And yes miss nina, please do the same with jesus and lets see what your pope says. Or do the same with allah and then lets see what osama bombs next. I am stunned at the liberties you have taken with a culture that is so ancient and respected. maybe you should have at least bothered to read the ramayana before making this attempt?

  • Mr Paul

    Amazingly creative usage of the unique Annette Hanshaw voice-considered by many to be one of the first Jazz vocalists(certainly not Blues as an earlier writes notes…). This film exemplifies that truly great art is timeless and even more so when genres are blended to such a hybrid effect. Bravo and now let’s see what you can do with the 1920’s Clarence Williams QRS recordings with King Oliver!

  • Jiny

    @Reema: She did read the Ramayana, and was inspired by it to create this work of 5 years. There is nothing disrespectful about offering a different perspective on the story – a tale’s meaning should not be completely bound by the literal text. For example, you draw parallels with other religions – what do you think would happen if every Christian followed the Bible literally? Should we allow slavery, or bar the disfigured from churches? (Answer is no.) Ms. Paley has done a great job of bringing the Ramayana to the medium of animation, as well as connecting it to modern themes and culture.

  • SDSH

    I loved the story, but wanted more about those peopel in New York City and how that woman dealt with it? (age 8)

  • Maxim Wen

    Abso-freakin-lutely Fabulous!!! This vidoe has managed to achieve a lot for me… Not only has it revealed many mythological tidbits for me but it looks like I may also start listening to jazz music after all! Kudos to you, Nina! You’re a strong woman and your ex-husband’s an absolute prick to have lost a lovely wife like you! I’d love to see more of your work! Great script and execution! Bravo!

  • Paula

    Nina: I´ve just watched your movie at the Bafici in Buenos Aires, and I loved it. Congrats and keep the great work you´ve done . . .

  • Hardik Hindustani

    Nice blog culture, I just notice my one comment as well as one of my friend comments was discarded, which is critisizeing Ms. Nina.

    And Ms. Nina critisizeing Ramayana and hurting, and people are encouraging it.

    This called, one way traffic, and so called open culture, which only take one side in reality.

  • injamaven

    . . . but where’s Lakshmana? No mountain of herbs?
    waaaaaaaah Otherwise, brilliant. I’ll buy it for our town library.

  • Mohit Sharma

    I love the Ramayan, and this is not the movie for Ramayan-lovers. What disappointed me was the irreverence to the Ramayan characters, when contrasted with more respectful treatment of the characters in Nina’s personal story.

  • Don

    Great work – well done & incredibly moving. Thanks for this.

  • Virginia and Mitch

    We loved Lexi the cat! He reminded us of our sunny cat, and Shiva cat……both males. both Rama
    s in their own right. I loved the justopostition of the modern American couple, with Rama and Sita, and the shades of science theatre silhouettes,or shadow puppets, and their side comments. I have seen it twice, and am still learning from it……loved the graphics, music, and animation.

  • pavithra

    I really don’t see why DVD s would die anytime soon; short of creating some sort of virtual reality disc that allows you to actually be in the movie.

  • kaluhei

    Phenomenal. Thanks for this and hope to see it on DVD soon!

  • shazia


    Hi Hollywood does not need to know much about the Internet to achieve what I described above. They can outsource their servers to a third party. Independent production will follow the suite.

  • Di

    Wow!~ The animation, integration of the story, everything was amazing!

  • Satti Khangura

    Fantastic work – can’t wait for your next production

  • Paul Silver

    Hi Nina! What a great, entertaining film. I especially loved the narration by the “shadow puppets.” And to think, I remember you when you were creating drawings for the Platypus and for PLATO Music Group performance flyers!

    That’s all!

  • Cara Day

    I’m looking forward to seeing this on the “big screen” at the Virginia Theatre during Roger Ebert’s Film Festival. Welcome home!

  • kugan

    i am immeresed in your story telling..wonderful work, i am not able to move away ,great design.amazing!

  • john

    Promise to always bring me to meet christian’s friend whenever i’m on net to chat with facebook’s friends

  • aishaj

    i absolutely LOVED this!!! so beautiful!

  • Amy

    Beautiful, brilliant film

  • Vivek Bhaskar Sathe

    Please STOP showing this ridiculous video. Do not hurt if you cannot heal.

  • Trixie

    I was thoroughly engrossed in this beautiful visual treat. Thanks to Roger Ebert for his effusive review of Sita Sings the Blues. I am so glad to have found and experienced this movie. Nina, I hope you are working on more treats for us!

  • zephyr

    Well first: the musical portions were beautifully rendered. The rest is crap. I firmly believe in religious debate, scholarly works, discussion, interpretations. What I do not believe in is mocking another person’s religion, especially by a person from another culture/religion. Ms. Naley’s story comes off as racist and ethnocentric. Trying to cover up her racism by having a couple of liberal Hindus “discussing” the Ramayana does not amount to rigorous academic interpretation. I am offended and I am not even Hindu. I am unsure what she was trying to accomplish here but after thinking about it I understood: Ms. Naley got dumped by her husband in India. She can’t get revenge on him because she obviously still loves him but she can get revenge on the place that “broke” her marriage, India. Hence the creation of Sita Sings the Blues.

  • Paul Collins

    Now I want to read the book too. Very good opening sequence.

  • Elliott Eldrich

    Nina – What a beautifully done movie. You have done what great artists have done through the ages: You’ve taken mythos, legends and your own experiences and woven them together into your own interpretation and vision, which you then presented brilliantly.

    For those inclined to take offense or say that Nina is showing disrespect, I must stronly disagree. Nina is a powerfully talented and gifted artist who has created a lovely and moving work. Would you shame a rainbow? Would you kill a bird because its beauty offends you? What gives you that right? Nina has created a piece of art based on her perspective, ideas and experiences. She has taken a mythos, personalized it, and put life and humanity into it. This is truly the mark of the accomplished artist.

    To those who have chosen to take offense: If you wish to protest what she has created because you consider these legends sacred, then I humbly suggest you develop the skills and do the hard work necessary to create your own art and put all the reverence and worship into it you like. I would not be at all surprised to find that said works produced will most likely end up being stiff, two-dimensional and boring. Pious reverence is easy. Making myths and legends human enough to care about is very very hard.

  • Camille

    WoW! What a great film! The animation & interpretation blew me away! Great Job!

  • Patricia

    I come to the Ramayana through Southeast Asia, esp.Javanese, Balinese, and Malay shadow theatre. (BTW, I think those puppets in SSTB are Malay!) I note with interest that Nina lists “Many Ramayanas” among her sources, and this is evidence that she has taken the variation in the Rama story into account. There are Rama stories in which Sita marries Ravana, and so many other versions — SSTB is very much part of that tradition. There is humor, reverence, personal narrative, and really good art going on here. Have to admit I miss Lakshmana (esp. when he cuts off Surpanaka’s nose! Fun for all!), but otherwise have few gripes.

  • Vanimae

    truly amazing!!! i am speechless.

  • Suni

    i really enjoyed your adaptation of Sita’s self imposed distress (from the moment she married Rama to her being swallowed by mother earth) to all women across cultures and countries- i think we are all pansies like sita in many ways– though we know we should not be- at least I should be honest and so were u- I likes that

    The three shadow- “indian puppets” u had relating the story were pretty irritating- It was very obvious that they were faking their ignorance of the story line just to be “pseudo” funny- hopefully people who did not see thru the fakeness enjoyed the background talk score-

    apparently u have a better grasp of the ramayana than they did;-)

    everything else about the film and its adaptation to depict the very real/vulnerable side of the ever emotional woman was great

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  • Drakar

    The movie is now available for download as a burnable DVD image – check the movie’s website and look on the wiki for a link. It fits on one blank DVD and contains 8 subtitle languages, the director commentary, full menus with chapters, plus some extra goodies.

  • Drakar

    As a side-note, I find the prior onslaught of people using one-name pseudonyms, attacking the movie as “blasphemous”, “hurtful”, (and one person mis-spelled “hitler” in a particularly ridiculous comparison), to be troubling. Of the people who come here to post attacks about the movie, I’d guess 90% of them haven’t watched it, and are only here after reading about it on some mailing list. The other 10% watched parts of the movie, making a rash decision based on their pre-concieved notions. I wish people would open their eyes and ears and observe before bashing.


    Thank you very much

  • Dakkumar

    This is a masterpiece! It’s beautiful! I love the music. I love the shadow puppets. I love everything about it.

    When I were a child my nani used to have me read out Tulsidas’ Ramcharitmanas to her. To this day Tulsidas remains the greatest poet I have had the pleasure to enjoy. I still read him every now and then. Sadly I think he is quite untranslatable, as perhaps most all poetry is.

    In recent days I have had the pleasure of reading Ramesh Menon’s fine book “The Ramayana,” his very engaging interpretation, in English, of Valimiki’s adikavya. I have also lately enjoyed Paula Richman’s “Many Ramayanas: The Diversity of a Narrative Tradition in South Asia.”

    The Ramayana has molded the Indian psyche for two millennia. A large majority of Indians, and some communities elsewhere in South Asia, have grown up with stories from the Ramayana. While it is a rip-roaring story, while it is a defining text of Hinduism, it is also the story of a great betrayal: that of Sita by Rama. I like how Nina has woven the story of her own betrayal into Sita’s story.

    This is a highly original contribution to the corpus of Ramayana stories; one for which the world will forever be grateful to Nina Paley.

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    Part of Reel 13’s ongoing mission is to present fascinating independent films you won’t easily find elsewhere. We already launched this initiative with the online debut of Nina Paley’s tremendous achievement, Sita Sings the Blues. Now, the same week that the glossy special effects extravaganza Terminator: Salvation bombards the box office, we bring you a robot flick of another kind…

  • stelios

    Really beautiful!Good job!Thank you

  • Lalabear

    I love love love LOVE this movie! Thanks so much for publishing it!

  • jijilovesyou

    the best story ever told.. and the best story teller too. thanks nina

  • mira

    Fantastic – thank you for sending this , Nina xx

  • Sophie

    This is so wonderful. I love watching the music video sequences – this is a wonderful contribution to culture. Thank you for making this avaiable.

  • Ramesh
  • Laura

    Nina posted short videos to her sites 18 months ago, I started to watch this movie. I and my boyfriend were floored by those amazing details.
    I and my boyfriend are watching it together again. Life is a lot of fun that way.


  • Laura
    Nina posted short videos to her sites 18 months ago, I started to watch this movie. I and my boyfriend were floored by those amazing details.
    I and my boyfriend are watching it together again. Life is a lot of fun that way.

  • usha

    Superb! I’ve always disliked the way Rama questions Sita’s purity; I loved the way it ends with woman in power!!
    I loved it Nina.

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  • Matt

    waooooooooo..its a nice movies..i really like it..thnaks..also if anyone want to download films from web then i found a great website on net..its

  • Bri

    Oh, I love this movie so much! I watch this as often as I can. The song “Moanin’ Low” is my favorite. I especially love how the two act while they’re both kind of waiting for Rama to kick Sita out. It’s sad, but I really don’t hate or blame Rama for the second time. It wasn’t that he didn’t love Sita, just that his people had to come first if he were to be king.

  • Disk

    This message is for Nina Pelay the great.I think you have run out of ideas that’s why using Indian god and Goddesses and sacred religious tales to earn money and fame. Have you ever think how much this can hurt someone’s religion and faith. Why don’t you make something like this with your father and mother as a main character? I will not ask you to make movie on Jesus as I believe God is one and have respect for all the religions and culture unlike you. Ramayana is the most sacred and holy book for Hindu’s like Bible for Christian and you have made fun of that just to make some extra money and get some fame. You should be ashamed of yourself to put something like that without giving a second thought how hurting it would be for others.
    Money and fame is important, but at the same time you need to have some moral values and social responsibility.

  • Christa

    Kudos to Ms. Paley!
    I so enjoyed viewing the film, and thank you for so generously posting it here. The cut-to sequences with the shadow puppets were a stitch, and all of the music (but especially the Annette tunes) blended with the remarkable tapestry of animation.
    So well done! I could watch it over & over, and I have been passing the word along to anyone who will listen. :)

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  • Mala

    Great Art and Puppet voices. But please NOTE:
    Rama, brother Lakhsmana and Sita together went to the forests!
    Sita wore only a married woman’s token-jewelery on her body. She was not voluptuous as described and vulgarized by Supnakha as shown.
    Rama himself had no doubts about Sita, but had to follow the rules of society which all rulers must do unless the subjects are against them.

  • Jean-Marc

    A real jewel!!!Thank you very much for the magic moment.

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  • Lawrence Waldron

    A novel, creative, ambitious ferengi variant of the visual Ramayana, with a side-splitting peanut gallery of shadow puppets who do their best (as many of we amateur Ramayana enthusiasts do) to recall and interpret the text, subtexts and contexts of this beloved Hindu epic…those shadow puppets sound like so many discussions I have had with friends. But the film is not a particularly novel take on the characters of Sita and Rama themselves (and poor Lakshmana has been lopped off the plot for the sake of narrative economy). The Ramayana suffers (in the US, especially) from being interpreted by a culture that loves narrative (and often resorts to it instead of analysis, even in elections!) but which, like most cultures, thinks that its narrative conventions are prime: so Rama’s and Sita’s decisions are filtered/questioned/and double thought through a Western narrative tradition that begins with the age of chivalry and ends with feminist critique (which suckled on Western narratives in the academy, not Hindu puranas)…this view of the Ramayana is therefore bound to be skewed and, ehem, cartoonish, and this is bound to excite the consternation of some Hindus, who are usually not given to satirical treatments of Biblical fables (and the Judeo-Christian who is discomfited by the use of the word “fables” here may not be so secular after all) however colorful and seductive…still, many Indians who came up in the Western academy or at least who were not raised under the volley of recriminations between Hindus and non-Hindus in the former British colonies (or Britain itself) may get a chuckle out of this clever, if 2-dimensional, rendition of Sita’s tale.

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  • Irene

    I just watched this in my Asian literature class and am completely in love with it and how it’s done! I’m an animation student, so this is really exciting to me. It’s just so good!!!!

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  • FilmKaravan

    If you’re looking for a high res version to rent or own please check out


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    Each sale/rental goes towards helping Sita get out of jail:

    Thank you!

  • ruby

    of sites are good but for online hollywood all kind of movies i prefer .A better site for online movies,tv-shows lots more & gossips from red watch it

  • robert c

    Great piece of art…saw it myself yesterday, then my two daughters, 8 & 4, were transfixed by it .Memorable and beautiful !

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  • julie

    As a religious studies scholar, many of those who complain are missing the point. Hinduism is one of the OLDEST religions in the world ( paling only in comparison to those of the Oceanic world). As such,–and with all religions–its stories change over time and time- being told again and again and again. THAT is why it is so insightful to have the three “shadow puppets” sort of debating what happened next and what it means. That’s what scholars DO, and that’s what people who practice their religion do. It’s not blasphemous at all. It merely reflects the myriad of versions of this story, so often told, all of which are valid.
    Also, if Ms. Paley, were to, as claimed, “use” classic mythology because she’d “run out of ideas”, then I suggest all of us turn off the tv and never go to films again, period. Those are old stories too, often told, and often taken from the classics as well and retold! There is no difference and no insult in taking it, just respect. Yes, she tells the tale from Sita’s view: if your religion cannot stand that kind of inquiry, or rather, your MIND cannot, then I suggest you open it a tad and see how much your faith can be broadened by a different perspective on a holy book. Furthermore, if you’re so concerned about disrespect as a Hindu, then I guess you’re turning a blind eye to your own culture, where Ganaesh and Shiva are on dashboards of cars, shirts, and in tutorial comic books. Kind of hypocritical, if you ask me…
    Finally, it’s doubtful Ms. Paley has made much $$ off of this. Indie filmmakers often barely recoup their initial payout to make the film. However, she took the leap and made it anyway. Hopefully, she’ll continue to do so and be lauded for a fine film with a real insight to it, no matter what some small-minded folks seem to think.

  • Carol

    Beautiful Movie in All your part!!! Thx so much for the opportunity to watch it!!!

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  • jack patterson

    Awesome masterpiece.Thank you and Nina. By chance I came across the movie on Reel 13. Couldn’t leave.

  • movie critic

    worst movie i have ever seen this was 1 hr and 20 min I will never get back. this has inspired me to never use this site agian. WAY TO GO

  • movie critic

    This movie was good if you are a retard

  • Gary Houser

    I used to like this until I turned six…

  • hate this

    Movie critic is 100% right about this complete failure of a movie all i can say is that this movie is F.U.B.A.R.

  • Tommy Boy

    This is the worst movie i’ve ever seen. I would not recomend this. It would only be good if you were Ripped off your ass!!!!

  • G mane

    F this movie it was too much of a trip for this guy

  • movie critic

    Gary nice black sweat shirt

  • Katinkabagovinana

    I 8– this movie

  • Tommy Boy

    This Movie BLOWS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WHO EVER MADE THIS MOVIE SHOULD SEEK HELP!!!!!!!!

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  • Alphaprg1

    I loved this movie. She really did a good job with the animation and her interpretation of the Ramayana.

    To everyone out there who hated this movie – get a life. I have read different variations of the Ramayana and those of you “religious scholars” out there – you know there substories to the main storyline. Hanuman, Ravana and so on. So why can’t there be a substory based on Sita’s POV?

    And to those religious hypocrites out there who say that this makes fun of the Ramayana and Hinduism – GET A LIFE! (see above explanation). Enjoy the movie and get on with your life.

    To those who want the DVD of the movie. You can actually download it from and make your own DVD – it’s free. You can get all formats for different MP4 players from the site too.

  • Oliver Fallon

    This is a wonderful retelling of the Ramayana.
    It’s full of love and respect for the text.
    There is a great tradition of retelling the Sanskrit epic stories in Indian literature. Does not Kalidasa retell the Mahabharata story of Shakuntala in a completely different way? There’s also a play by the Sanskrit poet Bhavabhuti called ‘Rama’s Last Act’ which closely examines his rejection of Sita:
    There is a series of 9 negative comments above (4th Nov 2009) which are obviously from the same person or group. This sort of Hindutva chauvinist nonsense is based on ignorance of the liberal traditions of Sanskrit literature, where the old stories are told and retold according to the mores of the age, and the artistry of each interpretation is celebrated according to its merits.
    Some interpretations are stylistically radical but narratively conservative, such as the Bhattikavya of Bhatti (, and some are the opposite such as Vedantadesika’s Hamsasamdesha (
    Sita Sings the Blues is a beautiful rendition and interpretation.

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  • Bajrang Bali

    Who ever made and give voice to this video will go to hell, In-sha-allah your live will be become hell soon and you will ask for mercy and who ever is posting this video on any sharing site will suffer very soon, soon Bajrangbali will kick your ass and you will see hell here on earth.

    You can’t make joke about our Indian

  • Geary

    It wasn’t that bad! I first saw it at Clips Movie It was ok.

  • Naresh Toshniwal

    I deplore the works of Ms.Nina Paley, the cartoonist, because it hurts my sentiments. Her works are anti-Hindu religion, Hindu-Gods/goddessses.

    The US Laws / Indian laws prohibits one to make derogatory / denigrating works against another religion.

    The US Govt. should ban her works and stop her to do so.

    This is not acceptable. Hindus being tolerant doesn’t mean others have every right to disrespect Hindu believes and religion. What if we also start protesting the way Muslims are doing world wide. Do you need us to start dis respecting Christ and Christianity. We humbly urged to U.S. Govt to ban this movie and ask this Nina lady to apologize us immediately. Please do not test our tolerance level. Thngs can change overnight. Thanks.

    Kindly, viewers dont go by fun, it is really painful to see hindu god and godesses being defamed, i hope you all will understand, ban this video please.

  • vijayprakash

    shown in bad taste please remove this video as it is hurting Hindu sentiments.

  • Pranay Sharma


    Show me a Ramayana written by many authors including women where Sita is comaplaining or lameting? ‘DHARMA’ is what you need to understand from Ramayana. That is the essence. If you do not understand that and see it as a bedtime story for children or as a distraught woman abondened by her husband, your sight is blinded.
    It was Sita’s decision to follow her husband on exile. Rama was king and he had to perform his Dharma. Modern Americans themselves cannot accept their President or Governers commiting adultry and Rama was an emperor so how can he let people talk ill about his wife, family and dynasty. Remember, Rama became great because he stuck to DHARMA.
    Regarding artistic liberty comes with a RESPONSIBILITY towards society. Artists are not islands and even if they do create any such ‘work of art’ it should be confined to their laptops or the confines of their studios and not release it to public and expect no adverse reaction. When you know it is controversial and offending to people, why make it at all? Gain popularity at the cost of hurting sentiments?

  • Pranay Sharma

    Rama was answerable to his subjects. Please understand that.

  • Jan

    This film is absolutely crap! Not only are the attempts at comedy in the production cheesy and ridiculous. The Ramayana is portrayed as some meaningless little story that effects no one. But the Ramayana is a vast part of India’s culture and a fine Epic that was just made a mockery of. This film was excrutiating to watch. As a fellow person in the media Paley ought to be ashamed; not only the story but the production values were awful. Not to mention the ridiculous “blues” songs were monotonous and were all exactly alike. Oh my goodness!

  • Paul

    I watched it for a few minutes. The mock talk by Indian accent people on the story in the movie did not do good for the story respected by true Indians.

  • ShigueS

    Its amazing that you manage to do all the art by yourself! Fabulous!!!

  • jessica

    this is the stupidest thing i have ever seen. you shouldn’t be making fun of others cultures. what if they made fun of your culture or religion? would you like it? i don’t think so.

  • Dolon

    Thanks, its very nice,As with films, Templeheart does not come between the investor and producer. Once a member has chosen a project they are interested in, from the research and information made available, they have direct communication with the production company. We only partner production companies that provide a detailed information memorandum and complete transparency between themselves and their investors. It could not be simpler.


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  • hansel

    Is Ramayana story only for Hindus? Is Bible only for Christians ? Why are we acting like fanatic Muslims ? In absolute freedom any one has right to say/express whatever. If some one gets offended that is his/her problem. If some one mocks at you he does not know what he/she is doing. There is no way one can control another. One can control oneself through God. Please enjoy this movie in free spirit and do not get religious like fundamentals.

  • Tatiii Radek

    I loved, just watched in Second Life Cinema. Very goos, congrats!

  • michelle

    Bravo Nina! Wonderful animation and musical text. I applaud your expression. Nina clearly identified with Sita’s abandonment in her own relationship issue. And what an interesting perspective we see from Sita’s view. I very much enjoyed hearing the Ramayana retold from a woman. Sita was surely an inspiration to Nina as she is to many for different reasons. The animation is creative, original and imaginative. Nice job! Thank you

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