On a March night in 1964, 37 neighbors in Queens, New York, witness the brutal murder of Kitty Genovese. None of them takes action or calls the police. 37 tells the story of a few of these people and what led up to the night when they unexplainably remained passive observers. The film is a convincing portrayal of a borough in change and a time characterized by racism, the Civil Rights Movement and political shifts. The actual event that inspired the film’s plot has been called a symbol for the moment when America lost its innocence. The director Puk Grasten skillfully weaves into her feature film debut various fates, dreams and family conflicts by leading us through an apartment building that comes to bear a collective failure.
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I won't repeat all the justifiably outraged comments this film deserves by distorting not only the basic facts of the Genovese murder but also perpetrating misguided fiction.
If you decide to make a movie based on any *real* case, at least do basic research. Even before "The Witness" (an amazing film) was released it was well-known that the Times had fluffed the apathy angle to stoke sales.
No, what makes Puk Grasten's film irredeemable is it's utter lack of a story or any compelling (strike that --- NON-repellent), even interesting characters. These fantasy "neighbors" are all given stereotypical bad-sitcom dilemmas and we watch them yell, kick, scream, and drag for the longest 85-minute run-time I've endured this year. None of the subplots has any bearing on the crime (you could be watching a really dull Law and Order) and Grasten falls back on primitive symbolism such as the innocent all-seeing nature of the child vs. jaded self-absorbed adulthood.
Maybe "37" is what it appears to be --- a glib, inauthentic, attention-seeking morality-play payday. But if "37" *is* a sincere attempt at making a meaningful or engaging film, its dismal failure doesn't make it any less a waste of anyone's time.