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ReelEarth: In Pursuit of Dignified Menstruation

Posted on 9/24/2019 12:00:00 AM in What We're Watching

A note from independent filmmaker David Conover on why he chose this film:

Perhaps you saw the Academy-award winning film “Period. End of Sentence” about Indian cultural attitudes cursing menstruation? This centuries-old belief is also common in Nepal. Many years ago, a 7-year-old Nepalese girl named Radha Paudel was taught that menstruation is God’s curse on women for being sinners. It is not uncommon for Nepalese women to be banished from their kitchens, water sources, temples, schools, and homes once a month. They move to poorly ventilated huts for the duration of their cycles - a practice called chhaupadi. This gender discrimination is causing Nepalese women to die of preventable causes at an astonishing rate. Fortunately, the then 7-year-old Radha grew up to engage this gender and public health issue. For most of her life, she has worked tirelessly as a nurse and advocate, trying to end chhaupadi in Nepal. Filmmaker Kanchan Rai immerses viewers in Rhada’s 4-day workshop in a small village named Dailekh, where men and women are challenged to discuss empowerment and dignity. The villagers share song and dance. They receive training in women’s health. Rhada’s motivation comes from “Miteri”—a word meaning love and respect. As the villagers reflect on their experience, we see Miteri taking root in their community. A remarkably honest and compelling film. Not to be missed!

Directed by Kanchan Rai

About David Conover:

David Conover, a long-term partner of O.A.T. and Grand Circle, is an award-winning filmmaker and conservationist whose work has appeared on Discovery Channel, PBS, and National Geographic Explorer. He is the founder of Compass Light Productions and the nonprofit Conservation Media Group, and was recently the Coastal Studies Scholar at Bowdoin College. Learn more about David here.

Meet the people of Nepal and engage in open discussions about local culture when you join O.A.T. for Nepal & the Mystical Himalayas.

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