2019 TIFF Film Review: 37 SECONDS (USA/Japan 2019)

37 Seconds Poster
Trailer

Yuma is a young Japanese woman who suffers from cerebral palsy. Torn between her obligations towards her family and her dream to become a manga artist, she struggles to lead a self-determined life.

Director:

Hikari

Writer:

Hikari

37 SECONDS without breathing at birth has caused the now 23 year old Yuma (Mei Kayama) to have developed cerebral palsy.  Now, the physically restricted 23-year-old, wheelchair bound Yuma is over-pampered by her mother (Misuzu Kanno) while working drawing manga for Sayaka (Minori Hagiwara), who passes Yuma’s work as her own. 

 Director Hikaru traces the steps taken by Yuma, with the help of an assortment of friends in the sex industry, gain her independence from her mother and work while discovering sex and other pleasures (like getting pissed).  Yuma also discovers through her uncle that she has a missing twin sister teaching in Thailand.  

Director Hikaru’s film on harsh reality is given the fantasy treatment while blending manga and pop which just does not work.  The audience is to believe that this wheelchair bound girl can fly to Thailand on a whim to meet up with her twin sister with her Japanese friend who suddenly is able to speak Thai.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-jyOHL_zgu4