Period. End of Sentence. : Short Film Review
Cast: The people of Kathikhera village, and others.
Director: Rayka Zehtabchi.
Release Date: 13 February 2019.
Synopsis: ‘Period. End of Sentence.’ follows the women of Kathikhera in their journey from having an absolute lack of sanitary pads to them starting their own business after a pad machine is installed in their village with the help of ‘The Pad Project.’
- ‘Period. End of Sentence.’ is a great step in the right direction. It raises a major issue that is still prevalent in many parts of India – inaccessibility to pads (due to several reasons), and it has been explored at length in the first half of the documentary.
- The documentary begins with depicting the shame and hesitation associated with the word ‘period’ amongst the villagers, both men and women. Girls, themselves, are not ready to talk about the topic and burst into giggles upon its mention, and the topic, being such a taboo, is kept at a severe ‘hush-hush’ level.
- Other than the lack of pads itself, it also shows the various problems that surround menstruation – girls missing school or dropping out of education entirely, the unhygienic dumping process, lack of opportunities for women, shame associated with asking male shopkeepers for pads, and the like.
- The documentary highlights the work of Arunachalam Muruganantham, the real ‘padman’, who is known for his invention of low-cost sanitary pad-manufacturing machines and his movement to generate awareness about unhygienic practices around menstruation.
- It explores how the installation of the pad machine has changed the life of the women in the village, and how they have started their own business out of it – going door to door to demonstrate, market, and sell sanitary napkins under the brand name ‘Fly’.
- The documentary does not just present an issue from an external perspective, it takes you right on the ground and into the lives of the women in the village, who have gone on to break the taboo and become independent..
- Rayka Zehtabchi has done an excellent job as a director, having taken us on an entire journey from a point where talking about menstruation was a taboo in the village even amongst women, right to the point where not just the women, but the men, too, have started understanding the importance of sanitary pads.
- There is absolutely no reason you should miss this one.
‘Period. End of Sentence’ is an impactful and eye-opening short documentary with a powerful message.
- The Pad Project, under which the pad machine and the documentary was funded, was started by some students at the Oakwood School in Los Angeles, who raised the money by organizing bake sales, yoga-thons, and crowdfunding.
- ‘Period. End of Sentence.’ has been nominated under the Documentary Short category at the 91st Academy Awards (Oscars).
Short Film Trailer Link:
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