What would happen if men menstruated instead of women? Would it still be a taboo? Director Mozez Singh tackles these questions in his recent short film First Period. After Akshay Kumar’s Padman, Twinkle Khanna has shown support for this film too. The film was released on YouTube on World Menstrual Hygiene Day.
In a recent conversation with indianexpress.com, director Mozez Singh spoke about First Period. Here’s an excerpt from the conversation.
1. How did you come up with the concept of telling this story from a boy’s point of view?
Writer Ishani Banerji and I were given a brief, that men needed to be a part of the conversation about menstrual hygiene so that it could be a universal conversation and not just a conversation about shame and whispers amongst women. We decided to flip the concept and write a story about a surreal dystopian place where only men exist and they have periods. We wanted that comparison against the normal world to be striking, stunning and hard hitting.
2. A film about menstruation and women aren’t seen in a single frame until the last shot. What was the thought behind that?
That was the exciting challenge. To be able to tell a story about menstruation without women in it and to tell it emphatically and sensitively. We had to be very careful and achieve this delicately and I think we have. The response to the film has been terrific.
Watch First Period: An MHM Story
3. Tell us about your association with Twinkle Khanna for this short film.
Twinkle has been such an inspiring voice on this topic. She has written a beautiful story in her book on it and made a whole feature film on it too. She stands for what she believes. And she was the first person I shared the film with once it was done. She was instantly supportive. She loved the film and thought it was emphatic. She decided to come on board to launch it. Her support will help the film reach far and wide and that would be amazing for the issue at hand. Everyone needs to know that menstrual hygiene is a very serious issue and that it needs to be dealt with urgently.
What would the world be like if men and boys had periods? Watch this film by @MozezSingh that highlights unequal power relations and challenges all norms. #NoMoreLimits @dasra
Watch the film: ‘First Period: An MHM Story’ https://t.co/kyNga0ZfnZ pic.twitter.com/DH9OIYAJrD
— Twinkle Khanna (@mrsfunnybones) May 28, 2018
4. Your earlier film Zubaan was also about a young boy. First Period also shows periods in a boy’s world. Tell us why you chose to do so with these projects?
There’s something very pure and inspiring when you work with kids. They are amazingly open and receptive and I had this experience in Zubaan and now again with First Period. I would love to continue working with kids.
5. The start of the film is shocking as a boy getting his period has never been shown on-screen in India before. What do you say about that?
I’m glad you find the opening of the film shocking. It is meant to shock, stun and provoke. It is meant to make you think. It is meant to stir you up so that we can make a change. That’s the point of the film.