‘Do What’s Right, Tell Your Story’: Director Rayka Zehtabchi on Oscar Nominated ‘Period. End of Sentence.’
Period. End of Sentence.— a documentary short directed by Rayka Zehtabchi, tells the story of women from a rural village outside Delhi, India, fighting against the deeply rooted stigma of menstruation.
Period. End of Sentence. is a compelling documentary that has garnered a 2018 Oscar nomination for Best Documentary Short. In this video, we hear from the film’s director, Rayka Zehtabchi, about how she highlights empowering female-driven messages.
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Her film, shot in rural India, introduces viewers to young women who are unable to pursue their education because their period has them sidelined in the home. In the documentary, we discover a community of women who have never even heard of sanitary pads, much less put them to use during their week of menstruation. Zehtabchi explains that she was shocked to discover a community so sidelined simply because of the normal female reproductive cycle. “That was so surprising to me. I didn’t even know that this was an issue in the first place; girls dropping out of school because [of] menstruation… that thought had never even crossed my mind. “
Period. End of Sentence. is designed to be more than just a film. In partnership with The Pad Project, the community followed in the film finds a renewed sense of empowerment when new technology works to reduce menstruation stigma and make pads more accessible. “This isn’t just a band-aid. We’re not just donating pads to people who need them. We’re actually empowering these women to start their own business. And seeing how much this machine can actually affect change; to have something of their own that they can own and use that as a vehicle to educate other women!”