Diana Fabianova knows the only way to hold a unisex audience for a docu about menstruation is to make it funny.

Novice helmer Diana Fabianova knows the only way to hold an audience for a docu about menstruation is to make it funny, and “The Moon Inside You” gets it absolutely, riotously right. Keeping the tone both personal and international, she travels the globe interviewing women and men about that monthly “friend” or “curse,” wondering aloud how it’s possible that a simple biological process still remains so taboo. Far more than an item for focus-group screenings, “The Moon” could prove a cult fave in arthouses and on college campuses, spurred on by ancillary.

Using amusing animation, vintage educational shorts and talking heads running the gamut from empowering to creepy, Fabianova wisely keeps bringing it back to herself, creating a friendly, accessible gateway to a subject often considered shameful. Though she avoids the religious element (interviews with clergy will be on an expanded DVD), she explores the myths, seeking advice from doctors and gurus on how to ease painful cycles, with the greatest success coming from Spanish belly-dance instructor Monica Lanzadera. The red color motif is overused, but otherwise the docu’s approach is warm, upbeat and expertly edited.

The Moon Inside You

Spain-France-Slovakia

Production

An Ubak Producciones (Spain)/Avenue B, Arte (France)/STV (Slovakia) presentation of an Ubak Producciones (Spain)/Avenue B (France)/Ubak Media (Slovakia) production, in association with La Zanfona Producciones. (International sales: Andana Films, Lussas, France.) Produced by Jeronimo Molero. Co-producer, Julie Paratian. Directed, written by Diana Fabianova.

Crew

Camera (color, DigiBeta), Jeronimo Molero; editor, Tatjana Jankovic; music, Olivier Samouillan, Pierre Bats; animation, Coke Rioboo, Alicia Manero. Reviewed at Locarno Film Festival (Critics' Week), Aug. 13, 2009. (Also in Montreal World Film Festival.) English, Slovakian, French, Spanish, Portuguese dialogue. Running time: 73 MIN.

With

Diana Fabianova, Domnika Liptakova, Peter T. Ellison, Karen Houppert, Barbara Duden, Martha McClintock, Monica Lanzadera, Chris Knight, Elsimar Coutinho, Beverly I. Strassmann, Victoria Agudo, Jane Bennett, Alexandra Pope, Penelope Shuttle, Renu Li.
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