Flofilm Suggestions



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As discovered anew with each Internet search, there just aren't that many genuine flofilms out there! There are films which include a menarchal scene (An Angel at My Table); or make reference to an inconvenient menstrual period (Just Another Girl on the I.R.T.); or refer to menopause (Fried Green Tomatoes); but entire films (not documentary) devoted to "some aspect of menstruation" are few and far between.

We have Zeinabu Irene Davis's 1989 'Cycles,' a 17-minute film in which "Rasheeda Allen is waiting for her period, a state of anticipation familiar to all women," Molly Strange's 1994 'In Search of Juan Colorado,' a 29-minute film about a girl experiencing her first period while on a camping trip with friends; and Gail Noonan's 1996 'Menopause Song,' a four-minute film welcoming the arrival of menopause. There is also Wei-Ssu Chien's 1993 'A Woman Waiting For Her Period,' a 23-minute film in which Waiting for a menstrual period that never comes becomes a metaphor of suspension and freedom of living in another country.” Apparently, the entire flofilm genre consists of a mere 73 minutes of screentime.

Below are four groupings of film suggestions, each with its own theme and discussion questions -- the hope being, that by viewing and discussing the following films, a glimpse of a more expansive flofilm genre may be had.

** The first grouping consists of documentaries -- not exactly what MOLT means by flofilm, but certainly an important component of the Flofilm Festival. We'll give them the name "menstrumentaries," just for fun. What's it like to view a few of them in a row? What themes emerge -- and what differences? It's interesting to note the name change that "Under Wraps" underwent -- why? And are some menstrumentaries simply better films than others? Host your own Flofilm Festival and find out.**

The following list is not meant to be exhaustive or representative. Feel free to use the following suggestions in any way you wish. And be sure to check out the Women Make Movies website for lots of great movies!

(Note: Movies listed by name, year of release, and director.)

1. Menstrumentaries

Period: The End of Menstruation?..............2005, Giovanna Chesler (available through g6pictures)
Period Piece.............1996, Jennifer Frame and Jay Rosenblatt (available through Jay Rosenblatt Films)
Menstruation: Breaking the Silence (formerly Under Wraps)..............1996, Teresa MacInnes and Penny Wheelwright (available through Films for the Humanities and Sciences)
On Becoming a Woman: Mothers and Daughters Talking to Each Other........1987, Cheryl Chisholm (available through Women Make Movies)
A Friend Comes to Visit........................1998, Lorena David (available through Kingsize Entertainment)



2. Bloodbaths: Menstrual Blood and the Blood of Violence

Fatal Attraction..............1987, Adrian Lyne
Leaving Las Vegas.............1995, Mike Figgis
Schindler's List..............1993, Steven Spielberg
Psycho........................1960, Alfred Hitchcock
Psycho........................1998, Gus Van Sant
Warrior Marks.................1993, Pratibha Parmar/Alice Walker (available through
Women Make Movies)
In Search of Juan Colorado....1994, Molly Strange (available through
Strange Productions).


3. The Fine Art of Female Bonding

Cycles..............................1989, Zeinabu Irene Davis (available through Women Make Movies)
A Woman Waiting For Her Period................1993, Wei-Ssu Chen
Alma's Rainbow......................1993, Ayoka Chenzira
Muriel's Wedding....................1995, P. J. Hogan
Just Another Girl on the I.R.T......1993, Leslie Harris (II)
The Craft...........................1996, Andrew Fleming
Chantilly Lace......................1993, Linda Yellen
In Search of Juan Colorado..........1994, Molly Strange (available through
Strange Productions).


4. Menopause, or, Where's the Mom?

Contact.......................................1997, Robert Zemeckis
Little Vera...................................1989, Vasili Pichul

Waiting to Exhale.............................1995, Forest Whitaker
Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown.....1989, Pedro Almodovar
Rosemary's Baby...............................1968, Roman Polanski
The Joy Luck Club.............................1993, Wayne Wang
Menopause Song................................1996, Gail Noonan



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