- Director: Stevie Cruz-Martin
- Writer: Daniel Monks
- Producer: Simon Camp; Stevie Cruz-Martin
This is exactly why we need film festivals...to find this kind of film, to find this kind of voice!
It took a while...but, at last, someone had the balls to address the current [often confusing] hot potato: Gender. Whether it be non-binary, gender-fluid, gender-queer, gender non-conforming, transgender, transsexual...Pulse puts its finger on it! And, presses...hard!
There's no pussy-footing around disability, there's no fluffing around trans*issues. Pulse will - indeed - upset many...because, the writer [and star], Daniel Monks speaks a truth...and, it's harsh...there's no hiding behind a politically correct, protective shroud here. This is how he sees it. This is how many see it! Academics have bamboozled us with the whole 'Gender is not biology' thing...it's a bit like LeVay's 'Gay Gene' in the 90s - people [us] cling to anything that gives them [us] legitimacy. We are not freaks. We are prime, healthy and wholesome examples of medical phenomena. And, as for the religious bible-bashing righteous, it's simple: God doesn't make mistakes! Put that in your God-fearing pipes, you can all huff and puff all you want as we celebrate our validity!
Getting back to the film...
Imagine you are a teenage boy with a physical disability and an unrequited [hidden] love for your [straight] best friend...you are given the opportunity to switch bodies...no more disability...and, you can chose your sex [or, it is gender?]! That love could be requited! You choose the opposite to your assigned-at-birth sex, still retaining your assigned-at-birth sexuality. You become a girl with a [gay] boy's mind...or, you remain a [gay] boy trapped inside a girl's body?!? Confusing, isn't it? And, remember...this is a choice! Where there once was a penis...there is no more!
Pulse plays - exquisitely - with both perception and identity. The sustained momentum of the film is staggering...it gets to a point when you think these filmmakers cannot take it any further...yet, they do. I have to live with this for the rest of my life is a line that will resonate, deafen and anger. This is a film that chimes with a chain of challenges...this is a voice that needs to be heard!
Mixing sexuality and teen angst with an undercurrent of sci-fi, this bold fantasy follows a gay disabled teen who undergoes a mysterious procedure that gives him the body of a young able-bodied woman in order to pursue his love object. Exploring how our bodies shape who we are and how we are perceived, Pulse is a modern day parable for the young, the queer, the disabled and for anyone who has ever struggled with their sexuality, their desires, and essentially, themselves.