Period. End of Sentence. – won the Oscars, 2019 for the best documentary short film on 25th February 2019.
Netflix’s Indian short documentary Period. End of Sentence. which was directed by Rayka Zehtabchi is about a group of women in Hapur village, India who are fighting against the deeply rooted stigma of mensuration. It is a simple, light-hearted movie that dealt with such a sensitive issue very beautifully.
Periods are still considered as a taboo in many parts of the world. The women all over the world suffer due to lack of awareness about periods and issues related to it.
In some parts of India, women are considered impure during their periods. They are not allowed to enter the temple or to cook in the kitchen. Many girls have to quit school between 12 to 15 years of age after their first menstrual cycle begins, as they consider periods- “a disease”. This is one of the key reason behind the high female illiteracy rate in the rural parts of India. Girls were taught that getting periods is very shameful so they have to hide it from other people and what not. This movie has tried to raise attention to such issues that prevail in India. It has also put the light on issues like gender inequality, poverty, the need for proper education in rural areas, child marriage, the importance of maintaining hygiene etc.
The 26 minutes long documentary has highlighted the life of Hapur’s women, their suffering due to lack of awareness on sanitary pads, and the struggle to gain financial independence by making low-cost sanitary pads. The documentary also features the real pad-man Arunachalam Muruganantham who invented the pad-making machine to provide low-cost sanitary pads to women. This documentary is a perfect example of women empowerment as it shows their determination to fight against taboos that women are facing even in the 21st century.
Though the movie is filmed in India the impact will be felt in many countries. Let us hope that the film will bring a positive change in the quality of the life of young women.