“These rich women use pads, not us,” says a character in the trailer of ‘Phullu’, a very apt line to show the condition of a country where 88% menstruating women lack access to sanitary pads. This is an upcoming film that’s daring to disclose what India keeps hush-hush about even in 2017: Menstruation. The taboo around menstruation in India is so deep that women are still considered ‘impure’ when they have their period.
However, India’s patriarchal and sexist systems have never been challenged so much as they are being now – with campaigns like #LahuKaLagaan, #HappyToBleed, #IAmNotDown and #TaxFreeWings storming the internet. At such a time – the trailer of ‘Phullu’ piques a lot of curiosity and will hopefully break open the conversation even further, into our living rooms and schools. It looks like the story of one man fighting to ensure access to sanitary pads for the women in his village, while the elders look open-mouthed and openly disapprove of his ‘immoral antics’.
I did see some saviour complex in the trailer, with communication like ‘how this one man is fighting against the world to make women’s lives easier’, but I hope it doesn’t take over the essence of the film. It’s also crucial to get boys and men along in the fight against menstrual taboos in India, and I really hope this film succeeds in a big way when it comes to that. Watch the trailer and tweet to me @lipi_meh to tell me what you thought of it!
P.S.: Also check out #IAmNotDown, YKA’s campaign to spread menstrual hygiene awareness and urge for affordable access to sanitary pads. Thousands have joined it, making it reach over 15 million! Find out more and add your own story.