The Moon Inside You

Diana Fabiánová

Spain, France, Slovakia 2009, 75 min.

The premise of the film is clear from the very first scenes: the director has decided that menstruation is a taboo which should be dealt with. As viewers, we are supposed to follow the director on an enlightening journey and find out what menstruation is all about. I am not sure I agree with the basic premise of the film. I am not sure menstruation is a taboo. It is true that menstruation is not something we talk much about – but that does not necessarily make it a taboo, does it? We don’t talk much about toothache or erection difficulties either but to my mind that doesn’t make them taboos.

However, the subject of menstruation offers some powerful material and even though I don’t agree with the director’s point of departure the film does intrigue me at times.

The basic idea and structure of the film is that of a journey. A journey the director Diana Fabiánová takes along with the viewer to discover what it is about menstruation that makes it a complex phenomenon laden with prejudice, mystery and even fear. The complexity of the subject turns the film into a complex and somewhat disorderly experience.

At first, logic is still at hand. Diana starts with herself and her own experience of menstruation. How she has always felt great pain, depression and anxiety during her monthly period. She wants to see if she can find people who can help her feel better when she has her period. But this personal endeavour to find a “cure” for menstruation is not enough for her and the film. She moves rapidly in many different directions at the same time. She wants to know everything. What are the biological aspects of menstruation? Why do women menstruate? What kind of cultural differences interfere with the ways societies deal with menstruation? How do women in different cultures live with their period? And what about young girls? The questions are many, the answers flicker.

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