Constructing a Culture

Why Use Film in the Classroom

In the article New Biology Film Helps Girls, published in Educational Screen’s April 1947 edition, the author describes this revolutionary film produced by the Walt Disney Production for the International Cell-u-cotton Products Company, explaining menstruation, called The Story of Menstruation.  The Story of Menstruation was created to help teachers and students alike learn about the completely normal human function called menstruation in which a woman of child baring age undergoes the hormonal cycle needed for human reproduction.

This film was praised for being anatomically correct while also keeping with the moralistic and modest values of the time. At this point in time, women were ashamed of the natural process that their bodies went though, and as a result some harmed their bodies on accident following antiquated rituals or traditions of their fore mothers. Traditionalistic views on menstruating were to hide one’s body and be ashamed of what they could not control. The film goes go into depth to explain that women should not be ashamed of this process and also what they should and should not do while menstruating in a non-explicit manner.

The film was reviewed by a variety of audience members, such as teachers, the young women, and a highly qualified gynecologist were on hand to review the film. Medical terms were used and not softened or confused with obscure terminology. The narrator was serious throughout the film and the animation allowed the audience to see the cycle of life in a concise manner. 

This film was also hailed for the constant effort that was seen in the finished product, both in terms of the high production values, and in the straightforward manner that the topic was presented. The author makes it a point to show that even the title The Story of Menstruation was not sugarcoated nor treats women as an inferior sex due to the natural occurrence as some films produced around this time tended to do. 

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