We all have a story to tell; the truth is defined merely by our perspective. Paying homage to the master of suspense Alfred Hitchcock, South African filmmaker Nosipho Dumisa dives headfirst into the crime thriller genre with her arresting debut feature, Number 37.
A tale of desperation, love, and greed, Number 37 follows Randal (Irshaad Ally) a criminal confined to his apartment after a drug deal leaves him crippled. Terrified and unable to pay back a vicious loan shark named Emmie (Danny Ross), Randal’s sole salvation is his girlfriend Pam (Monique Rockman) and the pair of binoculars she gifts him. Desperate to come up with the money to pay back Emmie, Randal hatches a deadly plan that puts himself, Pam, and everyone else in his Cape Town housing project at risk. Ahead of the film’s premiere at SXSW, I chatted with Dumisa about bringing her magnificent story to the big screen.
For Dumisa, Hitchcock’s 1954 classic Rear Window and the government housing projects sprinkled across Cape Town sparked the idea of Number 37. “I just knew that this was the perfect area to reimagine one of my favorite films,” she explained. “ Randal is not an innocent photographer. Randal is the architect of his own problems, and he’s stuck in a world that has sought to define him by his background. Therefore, he feels locked in and without options, but we always have options.”
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