I sat down with Daisy Coole, one of the women behind the post production process of WOMENstruate and a woman I am crowdfunding for to ask her a few, normal, everyday questions about her work...and menstruation.
PRE-INTERVIEW SPOILER: The WOMENstruate crowdfund ends in 24 hours and we need to raise 80% of funding or we lose it all: GIVE HERE and then keep reading.
LAB: Introduce yourself, your job, and your role on WOMENstruate.
DC: My name is Daisy Coole, I'm one half of composer duo, Two Twenty Two, and I am thrilled to be writing the music for Womenstruate.
LAB: When I first introduced you to Womenstruate, what were your initial thoughts?
DC: My first thought was a sense of discomfort... which is exactly why this film is so important. Why did I feel uncomfortable? Embarrassed? Embarrassed for feeling embarrassed?! Traditionally, menstruation is like an open secret: never discussed yet present in our everyday lives.
LAB: It focuses on women in Africa across different decades living different lives than you or me. Do you feel you can relate to this documentary?
DC: Absolutely. My day-to-day existence may be entirely different but my physical processes are the same. My heart bleeds for women like Sunday who, at 17 years old, depends on kind people lending her soap during her cycle so she can go to school in South Sudan. And for Vitoria in Mozambique who had to cope with both a cyclone and her monthly cycle.
Imagine if we weren't divided by gender as children; the girls squirrelled away to discuss periods like it's shameful.
LAB: Do you feel men should watch this documentary?
DC: I feel it is equally if not more important that men watch Womenstruate. Imagine if we weren't divided by gender as children; the girls squirrelled away to discuss periods like it's shameful. I hope this documentary helps normalise the conversation because if we don't know what is 'normal' how will we recognise medical discrepancies? Our bodies are normal. Menstruation is normal and it is devastating that any girl should ever feel ashamed of something so natural. It is another way of demonising women in patriarchal societies.
LAB: This is the second time you’ve worked with me when I’ve had to crowdfund for post-production. What are your feelings about crowdfunding and why have you chosen to accept this project knowing it is crowdfunded?
DC: Crowdfunding is a wonderful opportunity for audiences to discover new work away from the traditional channels. We get to choose which content gets made, not faceless decision-makers behind closed doors. We get to choose whose stories are amplified and support those filmmakers to reflect the real world as we know it. How exciting is that? I think this is one of those really special projects which deserves to be finished and those five women should have their stories heard. I am proud to be part of the team amplifying their story, regardless of the funding status.
LAB: Have you had thoughts about how you’re going to tackle this project musically?
DC: I would absolutely love to work with live string players - ideally a quartet! Strings can cover a lot of ground, emotionally, being both supportive and taking the lead. There is a lot we can accomplish at our home studio but we could give this film the extra love it deserves by giving it a real score recorded by real players.
LAB: What do you hope to gain by working on Womenstruate?
DC: Every time we discuss it openly, you hope it gets just a little bit easier for someone. I love working on documentaries with Lauren because I get to be part of a team amplifying and exploring the stories of incredible women all over the world. These women are living their lives just like the rest of us while dealing with incredible hardship and sometimes incredible suffering. We are lucky to have the opportunity to share their story.