A few days back my 5-year-old nephew discovered a pack of sanitary napkins in my cupboard and became furious. He thought we are wearing diapers during winter while he has to go without them! My first instinct was to scold him and snatch the packet from his hand to maintain the ideal world of secrecy about period. If we take a deeper look the amount of hush-hush we maintain around period is ironic. After all, without that process creating of new life would be impossible.
Still today, in urban areas, the sanitary pads are carefully wrapped in black bags so that no one else can know about our ‘shameful’ time of the month. It takes no genius to understand that the situation is far worse in rural areas.
Oscar-winning film Period. End of a Sentence. talks about the same. It is the story of women living in UP’s Hapur district and how their lives drastically take a turn when they start menstruating. The social stigma surrounding periods is not unknown but these women have it much worse. Why? Well, they were unaware of the existence of sanitary napkins.
Getting period is just a bodily function but for women in Hapur, it means the end of their freedom and dreams. Girls often drop out of school as surviving the menstruating days on clothes instead of napkins becomes absolutely impossible.
This discrimination and curbing of freedom, naturally, has its social implications. Women often do not step out from their socially defined roles to search for independence. They get married early to become a baby-producing machine and an unpaid maid. Sadly, this not only Hapur’s reality but also of other places across the country.
Coming back to the documentary, it is a 25 minutes film that engages in a conversation with the local girls and women. The ladies appear too shy even to acknowledge the fact that they get period. The makers also ask the boys about period and pads, predictably they are absolutely clueless.
However, there are also those who are determined to break the shackles by taking charge of their own life. In the film, we hear about the story of one such woman who wants to work in Delhi Police. The documentary further tells installation of a pad vending machine that gave the women an idea about napkins. It empowered them to grab the opportunity to manufacture and market their own pads.
Period. End of a Sentence. bagged an award at 91st Academy Awards in the Short Documentary category and not just because it talks about menstruation. This movie aims at taking a firm step towards cracking down the wall of taboos where the word ‘period’ only means the end of a sentence and not someone’s freedom.
Directed by award-winning director Rayka Zehtabchi, the film is produced by Guneet Monga’s Sikhya Entertainment. She previously produced amazing films like The Lunchbox, Gangs of Wasseypur, and Masaan. Soon after the win, the director took to Twitter to let the world know about their success.
WE WON!!! To every girl on this earth… know that you are a goddess… if heavens are listening… look MA we put @sikhya on the map ❤️
— Guneet Monga (@guneetm) February 25, 2019
Naturally, netizens were all glee while congratulating the producer and the team on this big win.
Fantastic Guneet. Brilliant as ever
— barkha dutt (@BDUTT) February 25, 2019
Ugly crying rn. I love you and am so proud holy shit!
— Sucharita Tyagi (@Su4ita) February 25, 2019
We are all so proud of you, Guneet! Jai ho!!!!
— Saransh Goila (@SaranshGoila) February 25, 2019
Congratulations! Hope you make many more movies where women speak and the world will listen. <3
— Rashee Mehra (@hanuzdilidurast) February 25, 2019
— Tessa Potter (@tessapotter) February 25, 2019
Presently, Period. End of a Sentence. is streaming on Netflix. If you are wondering to watch it or not, here is the trailer:
The netizens are elated about this documentary and that’s evident from the fact that it’s creating buzz on Twitter. Yes, the hashtag #Periodendofsentence is trending. Celebs and other users are equally excited about the documentary. Check out some of the comments:
One of the most special moments of the evening…a film based on the taboos around menstruation wins BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT! Congratulations to the entire #PeriodEndOfSentence team, and my fearless friend @GuneetMonga!! #Oscars2019
— PRIYANKA (@priyankachopra) February 25, 2019
— scroll.in (@scroll_in) February 25, 2019
— Lisa Sharon Harper (@lisasharper) February 25, 2019
Who knew that documentary short would have the best speech of the night? #Periodendofsentence
— Jenna (@TheJARoyal14) February 25, 2019
We are really happy that this film bagged the award. There was the premonition of the film getting stifled by the wave of patriarchy, thankfully that wasn’t the case. We surely love this film and if you haven’t watched it yet then you must!