22 mins
English Canada



As the Two-Child Policy superseded the One-Child Policy at the end of 2015, China faces the tangled reproductive choice once again. Pulse is a thirty-minute documentary film centered on three urban Chinese families with two children. By observing families’ daily interactions, the film excavates the trauma carried over from the only child era as well as the potential social impacts brought by the new birth control policy. Juxtaposing families from different backgrounds, this film explores the change of family structure, members’ psychological dynamic, social gender role, and fertility concepts in contemporary society under the new social trends; we ask: “Whether to have a second child?”



Director’s Bio

Zhiying (Irene) Zhen is a Chinese director, producer, and editor based in Toronto, whose works focus on society and individuals, and maintain the uniqueness of the eastern film aesthetic. She holds a Bachelor of Art degree from Michigan State University in Media and Information Program with a minor in Fiction Filmmaking. She is currently completing a Master’s of Fine Arts degree in Documentary Media Program at Ryerson University. Pulse is her latest observational documentary about the Two-Child Policy with a keen gaze in contemporary Chinese society.

Irene Zhen