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Red Moon

Menstruation, Culture & the Politics of Gender

Red Moon

Duration: 53 min
ISBN: 1-932869-43-3
Date Produced: 2009
Subtitles: English

Filmmaker Info
Study Guide
Press Room
Film Festivals
Praise for the Film

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Red Moon
Menstruation, Culture & the Politics of Gender

When filmmaker Diana Fabianova reached puberty, she found herself irremediably trapped in menstrual etiquette. She carefully hid the evidence from her father and brother first, and later on, from most of the other men in her life. And no matter how bad she felt, she pretended she was fine. The taboo far exceeded the scope of her family: it was all around her. Periods were a "girl thing." Periods were shameful. Periods were inappropriate for public discussion. End of the story? Not quite. Something in her was reluctant to accept and suffer in silence. Why did the sign of what all societies consider a blessing -- women's ability to give birth -- happen to be described with names and expressions like "the curse" (in England), the "English war debarquement" (in France), and "to be on the rags" (in the U.S.)?

With humor and refreshing candor, Fabianova's Red Moon provides a fascinating, often ironic, take on the absurd and frequently dangerous cultural stigmas and superstitions surrounding women's menstruation. As educational as it is liberating, the film functions as both a myth-busting overview of the realities of menstruation, and a piercing cultural analysis of the ways in which struggles over meaning and power have played out through history on the terrain of women's bodies. Ideal for use in women's studies and health courses, as well as classes in anthropology, sociology, and cultural studies.


Dusan Fabian | Psychologist | Slovakia
Monica Lanzadera | Bioenergetic and dance therapist | Spain
Peter T. Ellison | Profesor of Anthropology, Harvard University | USA
Karen Houppert | Journalist | USA
Barbara Duden | Historian, Hanover University | Germany
Chris Knight | Catedratico de Antropologia, University of London | UK
Martha McClintock | Psychologist, Institute of Mind and Biology, University of Chicago | USA
Elsimar Coutinho | Professor Emeritus, School of Medicine, Federal University of Bahia | Brazil
Beverly I. Strassmann | Biological anthropologist, University of Michigan | USA
Victoria Agudo | Gynecologist | Spain
Jane Bennett | Social therapist | Australia
Alexandra Pope | Psychotherapist | Australia
Renu Li | Yoga Tao teacher and therapist | Germany

Filmmaker Info

Directed by Diana Fabianova
Written by Diana Fabianova
In collaboration with Marion Doussot & Mona Leon
Executive Producers: Jeronimo Molero & Julie Paratian
Director of Photography: Jeronimo Molero
Editing: Tatjana Jankovic
Sound: Blazej Vidllicka
Sound Editing: Melissa Petitjean & Jocelyn Robert
Sound Mixing: Melissa Petitjean
Original Score & Musical Supervision:, Olivier Samouillan & Pierre Bats

Film Festivals

Official Selection, Montreal World Film Festival, 2009
Official Selection, Chicago Film Festival, 2009
Official Selection, Mumbai Film Festival, 2009
Official Selection, IDFA 2009
Official Selection, Bratislava International Film Festival, 2009
Official Selection, Locarno Film Festival, 2009

Press Reviews

Praise for the Film

"...Red Moon is an interesting illustration of much of our culture's discourse about menstruation, gender, and identity as a whole..."
- Jack David Eller | Anthropology Review Database

"A solid discussion starter for groups focused on women's health or history."
- Library Journal

"...Accessible to a broad audience as it introduces a challenging subject for mass consideration. The reality for artists, activists, researchers and scholars working on this subject is that the taboo and complexity of the subject of the menstrual cycle makes it difficult for work to reach an audience on a broad scale. Through its simplicity, Red Moon has the potential to entertain while it confronts negative menstrual associations with sincerity and lightness. ...[Director] Fabianova has crafted an argument that has potential to move its audience to action ...She wants women to be in control of their bodies through knowledge so that they consume less, flushing fewer tampons and swallowing fewer pills. ...Red Moon will resonate in a classroom setting where students of gender studies, sociology, and anthropology can use the film to facilitate thinking around a previously proscribed subject. ...Beyond the academic classroom, this film should reach a broad audience, though this requires breaking through the fear-induced barrier most programmers have around feminist and menstrual-related films. ...Red Moon has the potential to raise the consciousness of a population of women. It calls upon its audience to engage with some alternatives to mainstream menstrual culture and inspires viewers to produce change in generations to come, thereby reducing menstrual fear, one drop at a time."
- Giovanna Chesler | Sex Roles: A Journal of Research

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