My Time


Reviewed by: Jennie Kermode

My Time
"A horror film in the purest sense of the term."

Many women have horror stories about the way their periods first started. Few share them. Such are the taboos around this topic that many find it difficult to reference at all. Giulia Gandini's short film is, then, a horror film in the purest sense of the term, in that it takes an acutely distressing experience which many viewers will relate to directly and forces its audience to face it. Some people will find it cathartic. Others will simply be unable to watch.

Ava (Clara Read) is in the middle of a busy classroom when she notices a patch of blood on the floor, bright red against the pale linoleum. Slipping her hand underneath her confirms the worst. She has started her period, it's soaked through her skirt and she has no way of hiding it. To make things worse, the pupils are taking it in turns to go up to the front of the room and deliver presentations, and it's her turn next.

Read is exceptional as the mortified girl desperately trying to come up with a solution. Gandini keeps the camera trained on her face for much of the film's running time, looking away only to reflect on her fears or show her attempts to save herself from humiliation. Behind her, a boy starts to snigger. We know that ridicule like this will not end when the class does - that it could easily follow her for the rest of her schooldays.

The power of the film lies in its small observations and its impressive used of sound, with the adjustment of ambient noise levels illustrating both the direction of Ava's focus and the pressure she feels. Here, quietness is as powerful as any sound. It builds up our anticipation, the fear of what we could hear next. It emphasises Ava's isolation. The blank faces of some of the girls who notice send a similar signal. Even if they're sympathetic, they want to pretend that it's not happening.

Building towards an ending that's small in scope but hints at something revolutionary, My Time reclaims space for conversation about the day to day realities our society has long chosen to try and deny. It's a brave piece of filmmaking, beautifully crafted, and an intense viewing experience.

Reviewed on: 25 Apr 2019
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My Time packshot
A girl gets her period for the first time in the middle of her classroom, just before she's supposed to go up and give a presentation.

Director: Giulia Gandini

Writer: Giulia Gandini

Starring: Clara Read, Trevor Murphy, Ilirian Bushi, Darcey Denney, Izabella Tipping

Year: 2018

Runtime: 6 minutes

Country: UK


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