What causes a man to build himself a fake uterus using the inside of a football, fill it with animal blood, tie it to his belt and by using a rubber tube, pump it into his underwear as he walks through the streets of his village in India? Menstrual man is the extraordinary story of Arunachalam Muruganantham, an Indian who like many others grew up in poverty and poor schooling, who one day realised that the vast majority of women did not use a sanitary towel during their period. There are many reasons why: ignorance of risks to their health, but also the prohibitive costs, for the poorer members of the population, of sanitary towels produced by multinational countries. Muruganantham begins studying an alternative solution to auto-produce towels at a low cost, looking for the most adapt materials and testing them himself.
Going against superstition, prejudice and ignorance which pervades the rural Indian society, with humbleness, devotion and a good dose of irony, Muruganantham manages, in just a few years, to produce a real life revolution in the sanitary towel world, giving birth to a great cultural and social emancipation, giving him the honour of being nominated one of the “100 most influential people on the planet”, a list created by the magazine Time.
“Don’t use your knowledge just to survive: use it to create something, to obtain something, to have an impact on society.” (A. Muruganantham).
Amit Virmani debuted in cinema with the much discussed documentary Cowboys in Paradise (2009). Menstrual Man is his second work, and has been presented at festivals in Toronto, Amsterdam and Asia. Criticised for the choice of title, claimed to be unappealing by some critics, he replied: “most of the problems of female hygiene in India are linked to the fact that people are afraid of talking about it. The film clelbrates those who have gone against this taboo. If I changed the title of the film because educated people would not go and see the film, I would be a hypocrite. I would become part of the problem”.