A small 25 minutes Indian documentary called ’Period. End of a Sentence.’ won an Oscar at the 91st Academy Awards on Monday. It won the award for Best Documentary (Short Subject). The other nominations in the said category were Black Sheep, A Night at the Garden, End Game and Lifeboat .
The documentary is produced by Indian producer Guneet Monga’s Sikhya Entertainment and directed by the Iranian-American director Rayka Zehtabchi. It was crowdfunded by students from Los Angeles along with their teacher Melissa Berton.
Zehtabchi said, in her acceptance speech:
“I’m not crying because I’m on my period or anything. I can’t believe a film on menstruation won an Oscar.”
The documentary is set in Uttar Pradesh’s Hapur district and brings to focus the taboo around menstruation in India and the difficulty of accessing sanitary and hygiene products as a result. It further talks about how the taboo has rendered many women struggling with health issues and forced many young girls to drop out of school.
The documentary shows how women take the matter in their own hands when a vending machine for sanitary pads is set up in Hapur district, the women begin manufacturing and marketing their own products. The documentary as well as the title suggests that a period must only end a sentence and not one’s education, liberty and independence. The movie is a great step in the direction of making menstruation taboo free.