Kanchana Sita (Golden Sita) is a 1977 Indian Malayalam feature-length film scripted and directed by G. Aravindan. A mythological film, its story was adapted from C. N. Sreekantan Nair’s play of the same name, which is a reworking of Valmiki’s Ramayana.
The film interprets a story from the Uttara Kanda of the epic poem Ramayana, where Rama sends his wife, Sita, to the jungle to satisfy his subjects. Sita is never actually seen in the film, but her virtual presence is compellingly evoked in the moods of the forest and the elements. The film retells the epic from a feminist perspective. It was shot in the interior tribal areas of Andhra Pradesh. The roles of the epic heroes are played by Rama Chenchu tribal people, who claim lineage to the mythological Rama. Director Aravindan interweaves the Samkhya-Yoga philosophical concepts of Prakriti-Purusha bonds throughout the film.
The film was produced by K. Ravindran Nair under the banner of General Pictures. The film features an original score by classical musician Rajeev Taranath, cinematography by cinematographer-turned-director Shaji N. Karun, editing by Ramesan, and art direction by Artist Namboothiri. The film became a major critical success upon its release in 1977, although a few mainstream critics panned it. It is credited with being at the forefront of a trend towards independent filmmaking in South India. The film earned Aravindan the National Film Award for Best Direction.
Govindan Aravindan (1935 – 1991), popularly known as G. Aravindan, was a film director, screenwriter, musician, cartoonist and painter from Kerala, India. He was one of the pioneers of Parallel Cinema in Malayalam and is considered as one of the greatest filmmakers of India. He was known for his unorthodox way of filmmaking; he changed his cinematic forms consistently and experimented in storytelling without regular narrative styles. Before venturing into film field, he was an established cartoonist. He had also worked with documentaries and theatre and occasionally directed music for other filmmakers.