A Bloody Taboo

Director, Cinematography, Editor: Sybilla Patrizia
Documentary Short Film, 14min, 2021
Original Language: Japanese
Subtitles: English, Japanese

Festivals and Events:
Japan Film Festival Los Angeles 2021
Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival 2021
Tokyo Docs 2021

Short Documentary Showcase Excellent Film Award, Tokyo Docs
Senses of Women Award, Japan Film Festival Los Angeles

*Feel free to share or screen this film for educational purposes online or in-person worldwide.
On average, women menstruate for about 2,535 days in their lifetime - that’s almost 7 years in total. Yet, periods remain a tabooed topic in most societies around the world, including Japan.

"A Bloody Taboo" explores several women’s rights topics related to period stigmatization, the tampon tax and the wider discussion of gender discrimination in Japan. Through intimate interviews with an eclectic collection of voices ranging from a high school student, to activists, artists and health experts, the film highlights the lack of open discussion and explores common taboos surrounding menstruation in a country that is still struggling to find its role in the fight for women's rights.



Menstruation is a natural part of women’s bodies and female reproductive health. Although half of the world’s population is female and most of them will have periods for about 30-40 years of their life, periods are still a taboo in the vast majority of countries.

Global news media have recently highlighted the situations in developing countries, in which girls miss school or even die due to period discrimination or a lack of access to sanitary health products. In "A Bloody Taboo" we examine period stigmatization and discrimination in Japan, which ranks 120th out of 156 countries in the 2021 World Economic Forum Gender Gap Index—an indicator of the country’s lasting patriarchy.

Period discrimination and period poverty might just be two of many issues in the fight for women’s equality, but they disproportionately affect some of the most vulnerable parts of our society: young women and women in poverty. By unraveling period stigma, we will show how women’s health issues are human rights issues that are relevant to people of all genders and we hope to demonstrate that period discrimination and period poverty affect women’s opportunities around the world, regardless of their country of origin.


日本等のいわゆる開発国での生理に対する偏見や差別についても調べる。(世界経済フォーラムの男女平等ランキングで日本は156ヶ国中120位に位置付けられ、国が男性優位社会であることが浮き彫りになった。生理に対する差別や生理用品が買えない貧困、「生理貧困」などの問題に取り組むのは、女性の平等のために戦う2つの方法かもしれない。しかし、このような問題で最も苦しんでいるのは、貧困に暮らす女性である。生理に対する偏見をほどき、女性 の健康問題や人権が性別問わず、人類にとって関連があるということを証明する。生理に対する差別や生理の貧困は世界各国の女性の機会に影響を及ぼすものである。