WORTH (wert): Review – Throughout history there has always been a stigma attached to a woman’s period. The topic of a woman bleeding monthly is still largely taboo, so much so that many women are too ashamed to talk about it, thus the invention of the relatively new phrase “period shaming.”
“Worth” is a short film that follows two women, one who struggles with pain and excess blood loss during her period, and one that misses it entirely. The film shows the emotional journey the two women go on and how they are affected by it.
I appreciate the filmmaker, Alejandra Jenni, taking a huge risk by centering her entire short film around periods, and it makes sense to bring this topic up in the current climate. Trying to erase the stigma associated with periods will likely take a long time to correct, as the topic of a woman’s monthly flow is still not socially accepted. Period shaming is something that has simultaneously both fascinated and infuriated me.
It is no secret that both women and men alike are brought into this world because of a woman’s period, it is literally how mankind appeared upon the earth, yet somehow it is seen as something gross or weird by society, and, furthermore, any man who period shames should be more embarrassed of himself and his own behavior than the woman should be of her period.
That being said, I’m not entirely sure what the deeper meaning was in terms of the film’s storyline, and although I do appreciate this as the film’s central topic, the journey the two women went on were isolated, and I think the film would have been much easier to follow if the storylines had a more marked intersection at some point.
The editing left something to be desired as one woman’s voice overlapped into the other’s shot, which left me wondering how these two were further connected to one another. Yes, they were connected by the struggles with their periods, but I was waiting for a deeper emotion to come out of it. I think the film would have benefitted from an additional scene or flashback of somewhere they shared a further, perhaps unexpected connection. This would potentially give the piece a more unique and entertaining flare, and could be something to explore if Jenni wanted to expand Worth into a feature.
I also wanted to understand where the period pains came from for one of the women, if they were associated with a medical condition, or why her monthly period seemed more abnormal. It would be important to show how and why this happened to her, and it could hopefully help others. My hat is off to the filmmaker for addressing this topic, and I hope to see more of this in all forms of cinema.
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