Documentary ‘Banished for Bleeding’ reveals the price of having your period in Nepal
For a girl who belongs to a family who practices chhaupadi Nepal, normal life stops on the day when her monthly cycle begins. She left her house for the night and slept in an improvised stable or shack.
Even something as simple as what you are allowed to play is tied to a list of rules to follow until you stay in the hangar.
Chhaupadi (exile in a stable or an improvised hut) is the belief that women are menstruent impure.
Two women Kathmandu Divya Nirmala Shrestha and limbu, on a trip to distant regions in the country to understand this inhuman practice, they must refuse to die in recent years.
The first scenes of the documentary exiled by bleeding, part of the series Our World of the BBC, that show the faces of their own lives and the way in which they have not been completely freed of the restrictions of its first period.
In a revealing conversation Shrestha asks her restrictions on the mother she grew up with. The mother wakes up a list of things they can not do, such as sleeping in bed, going to the temple, touching things, and more.
“People seemed upset about us if they were menstruating,” she says, before continuing to add that she did not want her daughter to fall into this trap.
The story line becomes darker as women head west. For example, in Dhangadhi, on the border with Uttar Pradesh, a local woman points to a shed where women have to spend the night when their menstrual cycle begins.
Their houses are blocked so that they can not return. Snake bites, inclement weather, a host of diseases and attacks from wild animals and drunks are a real concern.
Limbu Shrestha and appear throughout the film, and talk to them talking to residents and offer reasonable arguments against superstitious practice.
No one seems to know the exact origin of chhaupadi except that it is God’s will and lead disobedience to the poor health of the family.
In 2005, chhaupadi was banned by the Supreme Court of Nepal. The documentary is a sad reminder that formal law does not always attract custom.
In a disturbing scene, a girl who is still new to everything and spending the night at her house says that she will spend her daughter also because of tradition.
The shots of girls with half-resigned faces while talking about Chhaupadi will probably occupy most of the spectators.
The beauty of the landscape offers a sharp contrast to the dark and lonely cattle pours everywhere, which raises a necessary question: does not deserve to be treated this way?