Do you or have you ever menstruated? Do you know someone who does?
If the answer is yes to either of the questions above then there is one film showing at this year’s Bath Film Festival that you should not miss.
The Moon Inside You is about something which affects everyone, whether directly or indirectly. Let us, for a moment, put aside the taboo which is associated with the female monthly cycle and look at it for what it is: a bodily function, a process which is required to carry on life.
When I was at secondary school, I heard lots of names for it. Some were quaint, “it’s my time”, some were clearly passed down from parents, “I’ve got the painters in”, and some were just graphic “I’m on the blob”. Each girl had her own word or phrase for it, just as each girl knew that it wasn’t to be mentioned in front of boys. I didn’t really think about this at the time. It’s the way the world works, and I accepted it as such. It wasn’t until I got to Sixth Form, and we as students and young adults become more open in our discourse did I realise the damage that had been done. The reaction, when discussing cramping, nausea, bloating and other side effects was one of silent sympathy from the other girls. They’d been there; they knew. The boys however, reacted with horror and disgust. One in particular, who had spent most of his time between the ages of 14 and 16 pressing his backside up against windows and drawing personified penises in his books, blanched completely and was forced to leave the room when someone mentioned she was on her period.
The Moon Inside You is not a film about how great it is to be a woman, or indeed at times how painful. It is not a film about the downtrodden female, struggling against an evil patriarchy. I’m not going to deny it’s a film about menstruation, but it is a film about male and female cycles. It is a film about discourse. It is a film about the importance about being able to talk about our bodies in a way which is helpful and informative. It is a film about the dangers of taboo.
In keeping with this thinking, Bath Film Festival have organised a question and answer session following the screening with women’s leadership coach, Alexandra Pope. She has worked in the US, Japan, Australia and the UK over the last twenty-five years, spreading a “ground-breaking approach to women’s physical, psychological and spiritual wellbeing” and revolutionising how women relate to menstruations. As well as running workshops and writing several articles about it, Pope has written several books, and is one of the interviewees on the film. More information can be found on her website.
This is an evening which will hopefully leave you simultaneously better informed and more inquiring than before.