Documentary Film in Development...
The documentary film Red deals with rituals and practices connected to menstruation in 3 different cultures, that are facing the clash between tradition and modernity.
production: Tramal films
producer: Anja Vrdlovec
DOP and Script writer: Tina Glavic Novak
director: Miha Mohoric
Nepali codirector: Devaki Bist
//Most of the traditions have roots in the ancient religions, many of them nowadays no longer have a valuable meaning and are slowly entering the process of transformation; others are being vice-versa carefully revived in order to maintain fragile cultural identity of the marginalised communities that are being swallowed by global values; and than they are those traditions which we are not entirely aware of, but reside somewhere deep in our cultural memory.//
In this perspective we will examine three different cultures. Our key focus is going to be on one of the most universal biological phenomenon which is at the same time often the point of cultural struggle - menstruation . The documentary film Red will take us to 3 different parts of the world and introduce 3 different rituals and practices connected to menstruation and menstruating. Each of this rituals or practices is strongly connected to local tradition, and each of them is nowadays in the different way influenced by modern social norms and values.
The story will focus on three female protagonists in their struggle to either resist, maintain or re-establish the tradition. We will explore the conflicts between tradition and modernity on the personal, religious, societal or family level. We will see why the older generation wishes to pass the traditions to the younger generation, how the traditions are perceived by young girls, and how the practices related to menstruation, and consequently femininity, reflect the position of women in different societies.
The journey will take us to Nepal where the old hindu tradition called Chauppadi is still practiced in some regions, although prohibited by the state. According to this tradition, menstruating women must stay in the special hut every month. We will meet a young journalist in her struggle against Chauppadi tradition, that is connected to more than 10 deaths of girls in the recent years. We will continue the journey in North America, where we will meet the family of the Apache indians in the preparation of the holy ceremony called The ritual of the rising sun , which they traditionally hold for their daughters in the year of their first period. We will see how the community deals with the past of religious oppression and struggles to preserve their culture, by persistently practising old rituals and ceremonies. Despite the high level of poverty, a major part of Apache families are prepared to devote a large share of their income for this holy initiation to womanhood.
The third part of the story will take us to Europe, where the tradition seem to be whipped of by the rules of capitalism and consumerism. We will explore the creation process of the advertising campaign for female hygiene products, and discover how traditional norms are, despite of modernisation, still trapped in the behaviour and mentality of the Europeans.