Breaking the Cycle: Menstrual Taboos, Myths and Reality

Breaking the Cycle: Menstrual Taboos, Myths and Reality


The deeply personal stories revealed in this compelling documentary series, Breaking the Cycle, introduces viewers to taboos, cultural issues as well as celebrations of menstruation. It explores the impact of this rite of passage on lives around the globe.

The objective of the deeply moving documentary series is to share the stories of individuals including men, women, boys and girls from different countries and varying cultures. Each profoundly personal narrative addresses various aspects of the challenges surrounding menstruation in their culture and from their experience.


The Homeless Period Project was in discussions, planning and meetings for nine months with the film production team in preparation for the shoot. It has been a remarkable collaboration. Chapter three: Restoring Dignity. One Period At A Time is approximately ten minutes long and follows Shontel Harris a 17-year-old teenager living in Greenville, South Carolina through her life in high school and interviews those who provide support to her. She is one of many girls and women around the world who struggle to afford sanitary products.


Film director Nancy Durrell McKenna is also the founder and director of SafeHands for Mothers. Deborah Bayer Marlow of MarlowFilm Productions produces the films.

SafeHands for Mothers and MarlowFilm Productions are striving to produce seven chapters from different countries and various viewpoints with a goal to edit the episodes into a feature-length documentary for global distribution.

SafeHands for Mothers and MarlowFilm Productions strongly believe an episodic format is:

  • convenient for educational bodies to screen in classes

  • flexible for use online

  • usable as an editorial source

  • screenable at short documentary festivals

  • streamable as stand-alone pieces

  • editable as a feature length film

  • viable and culturally relevant.

The films are produced through funding cooperation with Safe Hands for Mothers. You can view the first five chapters online.


→ Watch Breaking the Cycle featuring the Homeless Period Project.

→ View all chapters here.