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Japanese society once kept people with physical disabilities out of sight, but no more. It’s becoming more common now to see people in wheelchairs taking trains or otherwise going about their business in Japan’s increasingly barrier-free cities.

In “37 Seconds,” the first feature by singled-named director Hikari (formerly Mitsuyo Miyazaki), the protagonist with a physical disability may have more autonomy than she would have had a generation ago, but still faces formidable challenges in her quest for independence, adulthood and answers about her past.

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