37 Seconds is a Japanese drama film written and directed by Hiraki. It is her first feature length film and premiered at 69th Berlin International Film Festival back in February this year. It won the Audience Award and the International Confederation of Art Cinemas’ Art Cinema Award in the festival’s Panorama category.
It has been officially announced that the film will be released worldwide on Netflix on February 7, 2020. In line with the announcement, a new teaser trailer and poster have been released.
With its screening at the Berlin International Film Festival and Toronto International Film Festival, as well as making it into the Japan Now category at the 32nd Tokyo International Film Festival and the announcement of Netflix’s acquirement of the film, 37 Seconds has already received international acclaim as opening a new stage for Japanese cinema.
The film follows Yuma Takada (played by Mei Kayama), a 23-year-old who suffers from cerebral palsy as a result of not breathing for 37 seconds after she was born. She is cared for by her well-meaning but overly protective single mother Kyoko (Misuzu Kanno). Yuma desires to become a manga artist, possessing great talent for the craft, and on her arduous journey explores and discovers her sexuality.
In the new trailer, we see Yuma sneak out of her home, where she is shut away with her over-protective mother, and set out to discover the outside world, a decision she is making herself for the first time ever of her own will. We see her go to a signing of a manga artist who is a friend of Yuma and who Yuma supports from the shadows as a ghost writer. But her friend is like a completely different person, completely ignoring Yuma. The situation is unbearable for Yuma, and she slips away from the scene, and tries her hand at taking the script she has written to the editorial department. They simply tell her, “You have no experience as a writer. You can’t hope to write anything good.” It feels like her whole life has come crashing down on her as she is outright dismissed once again.
“If I’d been born just one second earlier, I might have been able to live freely.” These are the words she says to herself as she is out on the streets at night by herself for the first time, having unexpectedly had a taste of the “outside world.” But this is just the beginning for Yuma, and it’s from this point on that time begins to move.
The song used in the trailer is N.E.O. by four-member all-female band CHAI, who have performed two years in a row at SXSW in the US, and who Forbes Japan (October 2018) included in their list of “30 Japanese People Under the Age of 30 Changing the World.” They even performed on NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert on YouTube. They have shaken the J-pop sccene with their “neo-kawaii’ approach and have won the world over.
A new poster for 37 Seconds was also released featuring Yuma looking determined to be the one to move her life forward. Anticipation grows as the release date draws closer and closer.
（C）37 Seconds filmpartners
Release Date: February 7, 2020
Cast: Mei Kamaya, Mizusu Kanno, Shunsuke Daitō, Makiko Watanabe, Minori Hagiwara, Yuka Itaya, Shizuka Ishibashi, Kiyohiko Shibukawa, Shôhei Uno
Run Time: 115 minutes
Distributor: Elephant House, Rabbit House
Insert Song: “N.E.O.” by CHAI <Sony Music Entertainment (Japan) Inc.>