VOLUME 11, Part 1:
PUBERTY AND OTHER FAMILY MATTERS
In the reproductive health space, the topic of family can be fraught. Our parents and other family members can support our body journeys … or make them so much harder than they need to be.
At rePROFilm, we believe children have the right to go through puberty — and explore their sexuality and gender identity — in a safe, supportive environment. Sadly, that isn’t the reality for many kids.
“La Macana,” our featured film this month, is a narrative about a divorced couple navigating their daughter’s first period. Inspired by filmmaker Maria Mealla’s own puberty experience, the film is a sweet-but-not-saccharine take on how families can support each other in their own loving, imperfect ways.
As you gather with family this winter, we hope you queue up “La Macana” and see what conversations unfold. When you think about your own experience with puberty, when did you feel ashamed? Supported?
The rePROFilm Team
PS – And to every parent with a teenager, peace be with you. ❤️
VOLUME 11, Part 2:
ALL IN THE FAMILY
For the rePROFilm team, the holidays are all about family: those we were born into, and the families we create through friendship, marriage, and other, non-biological means. In an ideal world, our families help us grow into adulthood, and they support us when we’re sick, grieving, or traumatized.
In our Volume 11 film selection, a divorced couple and their daughter reckon with the onset of puberty in the best way they know how. “La Macana” is filmmaker Maria Mealla’s love letter to her own father.
We were born to be in community with one another, in large ways and small. Recently, rePRO team members Lela, Alex, Asha and Rebecca met up in person for the first time. It was a lovely opportunity to connect with our supportive, long-distance little family.
Enjoy the winter break with friends and family, and if you need to make some small talk at the dinner table, you can always open with, “how long is your cycle?” or “what’s your preferred brand of menstrual product?” Maybe good ol’ Aunt Flo will even join the conversation!
(Scroll down to see what our resident expert Dr. Julia has to say about about normalizing periods for all kids.)
Until January, with love,
The rePROFilm Team
Sol’s parents may have divorced, and they may not entirely get along, but each is determined to support their daughter as she grumbles her way through her first period. This bilingual Latino family story is a must-watch for parents and adolescents alike.
It’s also the perfect jumping-off point for conversations about erstwhile adolescence!
Don’t miss Director Maria Mealla on the rePROFilm Pod!
There may be waaaay more pop songs about romance, but let’s face it: Our most formative relationships are with our parents, siblings, and other members of our family tree.
So if you’re ready to tune out the holiday classics (did you know there are more than 26,000 versions of Silent Night on Spotitfy?) and get yourself in the mood for the real reason for the season!
with special guest Maria Mealla
The director of “La Macana” chats with Asha Dahya about how her short film about a girl’s first period was inspired by her relationship with her father. This Periodical Podcast also touches on how Maria made the transition from theater to film, why she decided to make a movie about periods, and how her Latina identity informs “La Macana.”
“We always say that feminism is for everyone and that it’s available to [all genders]. Everybody needs it. And I think it’s important to give [men] that platform when it comes to reproductive issues, because reproductive issues are still so stigmatized and so hush hush in our culture.”
— Maria Mealla
rePRO Insight from Dr. Julia
“Talking about periods as “a curse” or “such a pain” or as something that really hurts and is entirely miserable sets kids up to have negative thoughts about periods. Blood is already associated with things that hurt, and kids may actually be fearful of menstruation if all they know is that it involves bleeding, pain and embarrassment. “
In “La Macana,” a young girl is too embarrassed to tell her dad about her first period.
Dr. Julia Arnold VanRooyen’s first column for rePROFilm is all about how to normalize menstruation with your children, no matter their gender.
Have questions for Dr. Julia? Ask them here: reprofilm.org/ask-an-expert
FYC Best Live Action Short: MISO
rePROFilm team member Alex Sgambati is nearing the end of the “for your consideration” campaign for her live action short film “Miso.” Look for it next month in Volume 12 of the rePROFilm Periodical.
About the film: Cat is pregnant and doesn’t want to be. Since support is scarce and options are limited, she decides to enlist the help of Sophie – a local doula who aids people as they take matters into their own hands. With Sophie’s help, Cat manages her at-home abortion, and comes into a deeper sense of personal power in the process
Coming to rePROFilm Volume 12 on January 1, 2023! MISO is produced by and stars our very own Alex Sgambati.
If you’re looking to cut down on clutter and change up your holiday shopping routine, we put together a list of some of our favorite organizations to support. Consider crossing a few gifts off your list by making donations in honor of your nearest and dearest.
National and international organizations:
The Center for Reproductive Rights uses the power of law to advance reproductive rights as fundamental human rights around the world.
WRRAP is a non-partisan, nonprofit organization assisting women who are financially unable to pay for safe, legal abortions or emergency contraceptives.
Through an international network of affiliates, I Support the Girls collects and distributes essential items, including bras, underwear, and menstrual hygiene products, allowing women and folx experiencing homelessness, impoverishment, or distress to stand tall with dignity.
The Alliance for Period Supplies is composed of independently operated nonprofit organizations that collect, warehouse, and distribute menstrual/period supplies in local communities.
The Sylvia Rivera Law Project (SRLP) works to guarantee that all people are free to self-determine their gender identity and expression, regardless of income or race, and without facing harassment, discrimination, or violence.
Malala Fund invests in education activists and advocates who are driving solutions to barriers to girls’ education in their communities.
Some of our favorite organizations from our home communities:
The Period Pantry Project’s purpose is to create a consistent source of menstrual products available to anyone who needs them in the Central Ohio region.
The Lilith Fund supports the right of all Texans to make their own reproductive choices, regardless of income.
NC MERA (North Carolina Midwifery Education, Regulation, and Association) is the state alliance of North Carolina midwives that includes Certified Nurse-Midwives (CNMs) and Certified Professional Midwives (CPMs). NC MERA (in congruence with US MERA) envisions an integrative health care system where every woman has access to midwives and midwifery care that improves health.
The Kansas Birth Justice Collective is a grassroots, Black & Brown-led initiative made up of two organizations, Kansas Birth Justice Society and Kansas Birth Justice Action. Kansas Birth Justice Society provides public-facing services to Black, Latinx, and Native American families to improve the chances of survival and good long-term health for birth givers and infants. Kansas Birth Justice Action mobilizes the community to act in defense of Black, Native American, and Latinx birth givers and babies, who face extreme disparities in survival, long-term health and access to reproductive care.
Through film and conversation, rePRO advocates for reproductive health, justice, and bodily autonomy. We lift intersectional issues, using the power of storytelling as a catalyst for knowledge, intention, and action.