First Period: A Short Film on Menstruation Taboo, made by Mozez Singhby Opinion Express June 2, 2018 0 comments
On the occasion of the World Menstrual Day, Mozez Singh released a short film on the topic. Twinkle Khanna, an active advocate of the cause has extended her support as well. The short film is going to promote gender-neutral conversations through an imaginary story of boys having periods.
Now that menstruation has made it to the lexicon of gender-neutral conversations thanks to films like Padman, a young filmmaker is trying to do his own bit in breaking taboos by exploring a parallel universe in which men have periods and their resultant travails.
This innovative short film, First Period, which released on World Menstrual Day, May 28, was directed by Mozez Singh, produced by the NGO Dasra and written by Ishani Banerji.
“The whole idea of the movie was about a boy getting his periods in a household without women. But it is his father, grandfather, uncle and teacher who help him through this phase and treat it as a natural process of growing up without fussing and fretting. There’s an easy acceptability and all boy/men actors loved the concept,” said Singh.
“Padman was a big step in the right direction for creating awareness. Producer-author Twinkle Khanna, who had supported Padman, decided to launch my film because she felt it was in continuity of a campaign she is committed to. It raised the right voices and started a conversation about menstrual hygiene, normalising it for the common people. So, it was really an inspiring film for me,” said Singh. He last directed the 2016 film Zubaan, starring Vicky Kaushal and Sarah Jane Dias.
The film follows the reactions of all male family members, teachers and classmates of a young boy called Ayush, when he gets his first fictional period. “I didn’t face any problem as the actors were very understanding of the story. Even the children in the film and their parents were comfortable with the idea. And that was a huge plus,” Singh said. “I have worked with kids before and it was easy to explain to them. They understand easily and catch things in a very short span of time,” he added.
Singh wants to continue working on social issue-based movies in the future. Currently, he’s working on a film focusing on the plight of the girl child. He further said that a movie alone wouldn’t change the thought process of a society. What one can do is bring change gradually and more such films are needed to make a connect between the issue and the people. He wants boys to talk about menstrual hygiene as easily as girls do.
“It shouldn’t be a subject of taboo for them. And movies really create an impact on the viewer because things are portrayed in brief and everybody likes to watch films for entertainment. If movies start coming up with social messages, then it reaches people easily and in a clear way. It also starts a conversation and reaches a larger number of the people. Movies are a powerful tool,” he concluded.
Writer: Divya Giri
Courtesy: The Pioneer