Filmmaker Rebecca Snow is hoping to interrupt down the stigma round menstruation ― because it pertains to ladies in addition to transgender, nonbinary and intersex individuals ― in a daring new documentary.
HuffPost received a sneak peek at “Pandora’s Box: Lifting the Lid on Menstruation” forward of its U.S. premiere Thursday on the 2020 Santa Barbara International Film Festival through the video above. In the clip, British mannequin and activist Kenny Jones recollects the bodily and emotional anguish he skilled as a transgender teen when he started menstruating.
“I had my first period when I was about 15 [and] hated it,” Jones, now 25, says within the clip. “I could bind down my chest so I didn’t really have to worry about that. No one would be looking at my downstairs, but I couldn’t stop what my period was doing to me.”
These days, Jones makes use of his expertise to talk out on behalf of “period poverty,” elevating consciousness in regards to the boundaries many individuals encounter in attempting to entry menstrual hygiene merchandise. He’s one in every of a number of international activists featured in “Pandora’s Box,” which examines the historical past of cultural disgrace round menstruation in addition to its political and environmental affect.
Diva International, a Canadian female hygiene firm, approached Snow with the thought of creating a documentary in regards to the menstrual motion in 2018. Production took the Toronto-based filmmaker to Africa, the place she interviewed Kenyan women who skip faculty whereas on their interval as a result of they’ll’t afford menstrual hygiene merchandise. In the United States, she spoke with ladies who stated they have been barred from acquiring tampons and pads whereas they have been incarcerated.
“My mission was to paint a global picture of the issue,” Snow, whose earlier movies embrace the History Channel’s “Cheating Hitler: Surviving the Holocaust,” advised HuffPost. “I had never really considered the inequities and injustices experienced by so many people who are affected by this natural bodily function.”
With regard to Jones’ testimony specifically, she added, “I was surprised to hear from Kenny that he still experiences menstrual pain despite the hormones he is on. I doubt many people have stopped to think about the psychological effects of that for trans people.”
Thus far, essential reception to “Pandora’s Box,” which had its world premiere at Canada’s Whistler Film Festival final month, has been constructive. Snow, nonetheless, would really like audiences to be each “infuriated and inspired” by the movie.
“This isn’t just something happening in developing countries,” she stated. “We have a culture of silence around it [that’s] woven into the very fabric of our society. We made the film to get people talking!”
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