Sunday, June 18, 2006

Period: The Movie

Yes, someone made a movie about the menstrual period, a documentary on menstrual suppression to be more precise.

According to Giovanna Chesler, the filmmaker:

The themes and issues addressed in Period have expanded from this introductory question of menstrual suppression. Through this topic, the film engages with gender, 'normalcy', body modification, and the many sides of the feminist "choice and freedom" discourse. The film taps into the many ways that women's bodies have been controlled and contained by the medical industry: this relates to issues of PMS, post partum depression, Hormone Replacement Therapies, etc. Women and men support menstrual suppression for various reasons: convenience and freedom, choice, and popular hunter gatherer models. Young girls, those who are mentally challenged, people in the military, poor women-these groups are also targeted with menstrual suppression logic. Then there are pro menses folks, some of whom use essentializing argumentation-bleeding is what it means to be a woman. And others who are pro menses believe that there are many untapped understandings on menstruation. They connect menstruation to time, bring in humor and forms of celebration, cleansing, connections between body and mind.


It was my goal to craft a film that equally weighed the medical issues and the cultural issues (understanding of course that medicine and 'science' operate within and are crafted by a cultural framework.) So, in the film, the 'value' given to medical practitioners and researchers is equal to the experience of a menstruator, or of someone who has chosen to stop bleeding.

I haven't seen the movie yet, but any of you menstruators (not to mention, breathers, digestors, waste eliminators) out there who have, let us know what you think.


At 4:06 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi there,
this is an EXCELLENT documentary style movie. beautifully put together and raises some fascinating social issues about the way in which we construct menstruation in different ways (positively/negatively/other) depending on context/experience etc... i saw it at the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research conference in Boulder last year. giovanna chesler is an outstanding film-maker.

At 4:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I recommend seeing it. Interesting film. Makes you think twice about menstrual suppression actually.

At 5:48 PM, Blogger idlehands said...

this movie is a must see - I wish they would show this to health classes in high school - of all the efforts towards menstruation negation in history - the pill really has been a double edged sword.


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