Documentary film on menstruation wins Oscar

These film on periods (menstrual hygiene) has helped break the taboo of female menstruation.

For a long time menstruation has been a taboo subject in India, and things like sanitary pads would rarely get discussed. Menstruation and menstrual hygiene was rarely discussed openly in Indian homes.

However, with a few films getting made on this topic, things are changing.

There are so many schools in India were they don’t have proper toilets because of which girls slowly stop coming in and then drop out completely.

What people need to understand is that periods should not stop girls from pursuing education or doing any other work. Its time that people in India (and other parts of the world) realize that periods are as normal as any other function of the body.

Short Film ‘Period’

Conceptualised by a bunch of school kids and their producer-teacher Melissa Berton of Oakwood School in Los Angeles, documentary film ‘Period’, based on menstruation in India (and the various stigma attached to it), won the Oscar at the 2019 Academy awards.

‘Period’ was shot in Hapur, in Uttar Pradesh in India.

“The 26-minute documentary follows the journey of a girl and her village where they set up a pad-vending machine. It is a commentary on how the girls’ lives change in the area.”

The film is directed by Iranian-American filmmaker Raykar Zehtabchi and produced by Guneet Monga.

Arunachalam Muruganantham, the man who inspired Pad Man featuring Akshay Kumar was also a part of the documentary,

Padman

It was Akshay Kumar starrer ‘Padman’ that helped normalised the conversation around menstrual hygiene in India. The film is loosely based on the life of Arunachalam Muruganantham, the man who invented a machine to make cheaper sanitary pads.

Arunachalam Muruganantham with one of his pad making machines.
Arunachalam Muruganantham

Former actress and novelist Twinkle Khanna (wife of Akshay Kumar) first wrote a book on Muruganantham’s life, which was then later made into a film.

“I thought this was a remarkable story which really needed to reach every household in India, and globally, because I think the taboo around menstruation is not just in India, it’s a global problem,” Twinkle Khanna, Pad Man’s co-producer who first spotted Muruganantham’s story and was in complete awe of what he had achieved.

Several NGOs that campaigns against period poverty say ‘PAdman’ is a watershed moment for “smashing shame around periods”.