Tiger StripesDirected by Amanda Nell Eu
Cast: Deena Ezral, Piqa, Shaheizy Sam, Zafreen Zairizal
Grand Prize, 2023 Critics Week, Cannes Film Festival
Best Feature Film, 2023 Neuchâtel International Fantastic Film Festival
Rumor has it that there’s a monster hiding in the bathroom.
Twelve-year old Zaffan is confident and bold, and the first among her friends to start her period, which happens to come with other strange appendages: a tail, stripes, and claws. In a society where periods are stigmatized, this metamorphosis only complicates puberty.
Caught in a war between girlish playfulness and a massacring want to be the community’s feared evil, Zaffan camouflages her monstrosity with colorful stickers, filtered selfies, and viral TikTok dances – anything to get away from the shame and humiliation of periods. But her gnawing desire for wildness begs to be unleashed for everyone to witness.
As the film shifts between adolescent antics and monstrous dread, Zaffan’s expedited villainhood illuminates a gendered experience. However, instead of demonizing periods, TIGER STRIPES transforms menstruation into a legend where one embraces the beast within. Inspired by folklore and mythology, director Amanda Nell Eu subverts the outcast archetype into a bloodthirsty coming-of-age horror that embraces a girl’s period and basks in feminine rage, wrath, and beauty.
– Alissa Tu