37 Seconds | Chicago Reader
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37 Seconds

Those tired of the incessant stream of sequels, reboots, and adaptations can look no further than 37 Seconds, a profoundly unique hidden gem from Japanese filmmaker Hikari. Yuma (Mei Kayama) is a 23-year-old manga artist with cerebral palsy searching for independence after a lifetime of being hidden away from the world by her exploitative boss and her well-meaning but protective mother. After an editor at an adult publication suggests she get more life experience, Yuna comes of age on her own terms without being sheltered and finds a sense of community along the way. 37 Seconds is quite unique, especially with its splices of animation and humor, but the most poignant moments examine the intersections of sex, agency, and disability with a refreshing sensitivity. It’s a rare film that understands disability as a complex part of its character’s understanding of themselves and the world around them, rather than a categorization to be swiftly demonized or fetishized. There are many moving parts in 37 Seconds, sometimes to its own detriment, but it is sure to be unlike anything you’ve ever seen—for the better.

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