a film about “that time of the month”
Co-directed by Jennifer Frame and Jay Rosenblatt
30 minutes • Beta SP • color • 1996
Recommended by Booklist and Library Journal
"PERIOD PIECE is a delightful and thoughtful film essay on the uneasy attitudes toward menstruation still prevalent in our culture."
-Jean M. Humez, Professor, Women’s Studies, Univ. of Mass., Boston
Period Piece is a documentary about menarche -- a girl's first menstrual period -- which is a fundamental experience in every woman's life, yet one that is rarely celebrated.
Women of different ages (8-84) and multi-cultural backgrounds tell their menarchal stories with candor and humor. Their poignant stories reveal feelings about womanhood, family dynamics and society's complicated attitude toward menstruation. Interspersed throughout Period Piece, as counterpoint to what the women are saying, are portions of old 1950's educational films about menstruation.
Period Piece addresses the pain girls experience trying to negotiate their bodies and their culture. The subject of menarche is rarely mentioned publicly, and in many families it is not even broached in private. Rather than celebrate this coming of age, we hide it and women are advised to deodorize, sanitize, and remove the evidence. Women watching this film will discover their connectedness to others, and mothers are provided with a choice they may not have realized they had about how to aid their daughters in this important and often neglected life transition.
“Period Piece is a delightful and thoughtful film essay on the uneasy attitudes toward menstruation still prevalent in our culture…useful in Women’s Studies, Sociology, and Anthropology courses.”
“…a feast for the eyes as well as the mind and heart. Period Piece is a celebration of the multicultural perspectives that are a simple fact of life in the U.S. This is an excellent film for educators.”
“…poignant, honest and often funny. In any course concerning women’s sexuality and socialization, it is sure to stimulate insight and discussion.”
“Period Piece provides a window into the feminine internalization of society’s fear of menstruation, and in doing so moves the viewer to a deep respect for one of humankind’s most denigrated miracles.”
Bronze Apple, National Educational Media Network
Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco, CA
Producer, Director, Editor: Jennifer Frame & Jay Rosenblatt
Site by Ladd Media