Alejandra Jenny director and actress.
Alejandra Jenni’s topical film Worth sparks the conversation about the realities of menstruation as it follows two women with different experiences : one of them misses her period, the other one struggles with its presence. We had the chance to speak with Alejandra Jenni to understand the message she wanted to convey. If you are curious to know more, take a look at our interview.
– Your short film deals with periods and taboos about this subject. Why did you find it important to break these taboos today? Who has inspired you to make this kind of a film?
Why today? Because it is long overdue!
The initial ignition of each of my artistic projects is a socio-political concern. The process of this shortfilm began with the urgent desire to contribute to the promotion of equal gender opportunities. For this purpose, gender-specific differences must be understood, and in order to facilitate understanding, I considered it necessary to address these differences. The period is one of them. Making a film about it seemed to be a sensible way to me.
I felt like the first step to end the taboo around periods is to give a genuine insight. By offering something visual to refer to, we are creating a basis to start a dialogue – and understanding is encouraged.
There was no key figure that inspired me to make this film. I guess the ongoing feminist movement, which I am part of, has inspired me the most.
– What did you choose to portray the three characters with such a different experience?
I chose to portray two very different experiences with the period (one of the women has severe pain and the other one is missing her period) because through talking to many people while researching for the screenplay I realised, that every woman experiences the period differently. Also it has a different value for every woman. So far its value is an individual one and is not socially accepted. Since the period seems inexistent in today’s society, social acceptance is very difficult. That has to change.
– Why did you show the blood as you did ?
I wanted to make the handling of menstruation visible – without embellishment. The more realistic the better. It appalls me that blue liquid is used to represent blood in advertisements for menstrual products. This promotes the feeling that the period is something unclean that needs to be glossed over. It’s long past time that we came to terms with the sight of menstrual blood as it is.
– Why show the periods as a struggle for the woman’s body ?
Because for many women and menstruating people the period is a struggle at some stage of their life. Yet the film doesn’t want to give the impression that it is only a struggle. One of the characters says that she misses her period because it gave her a feeling of “everything is alright now”.
– What would you say to all the girls who are ashamed of their periods and find it disgusting ?
Cleary it’s not something we should be ashamed of. The period is part of every woman’s and menstruating person’s life. It’s a natural process and we need it in order to be able to reproduce. If we string all periods together, we menstruate for an average of seven years at a stretch! Do you want to be ashamed of seven years of your life? Please don’t be.
What helped me to get over the shame was to talk honestly about the period and my experiences with it. Just like when I talk about how I slept last night…