SXSW 2018 Review: NUMBER 37

By Jan Hamilton

As the story begins, a young black South African, Randall (Irshaad Ally) has just had to use a loan shark to purchase a supply of drugs he and his partner hope to sell and make a bunch of cash. The loan shark,  Emmie, (Danny Ross) is known to be treacherous and deadly.  We shift to a month later, apparently the deal has gone very badly indeed with Randall permanently in a wheelchair.  He moves into his supportive girlfriend Pam’s second floor apartment.  His only occupation while Pam is at work is to use a pair of binoculars  to watch the neighbors through his back window.

One neighbor in particular is called Lawyer (David Manuel) and is a violent criminal, Randall watches Lawyer’s misdeeds.  Emmie the loan shark visits, and tells Randall that just because he is in a wheelchair, it does not mean he doesn’t still owe the money. Desperate for cash, Randall comes up with a plan to get his friend Warren to rip off Lawyer, Randall can watch to make sure no one else is in Lawyer’s apartment.  This plan fails as well.  Randall comes up with a new plan to turn Lawyer in for a crime that he witnessed through his binoculars, but the police are bent, and Lawyer is out in no time.

 Clearly this is an homage to Rear Window, and it’s quite a fresh take on the Hitchcock classic. This is director Nosipho Dumisa’s  first feature film, after some TV work; and it is an accomplished,  professional job. The cast is uniformly bright and believable.  Audiences will enjoy this glimpse into a gritty, tough world.

Credits:

Director:  Nosipho Dumisa

Executive Producer:  Bradley Joshua,

Daryne Joshua, Nosipho Dumisa, Travis Taute,

Simon Beesley

Producer:  Bradley Joshua

and Benjamin Overmeyer

Screenwriter: Nosipho Dumisa

Cinematographer: Zenn Van Zyl

Editor: Simon Beesley

Sound Designer: James Olivier

Music: Jamie Matthes

Principal Cast: Irshaad Ally, Monique Rockman,

Ephraim Gordon, David Manuel, Sandy Schultz,

Deon Lotz, Danny Ross, Amrain Essop, Elton Landrew,

Jeff Moss

Additional Credits: Gaffer: Tobie de Haas, Sound: Craig Ryneveld,

Stunt Co-ordinator: Vernon Willemse,

Line Producer: Tascha Van Der Westhuizen, 1st AD: Kurt Brookes

 

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