Nommer 37

Irshaad Ally and Monique Rockman in a scene from the movie Nommer 37. (Photo: Lindsey Appolis)
Irshaad Ally and Monique Rockman in a scene from the movie Nommer 37. (Photo: Lindsey Appolis)


Randal is a gangster recently crippled by an injury sustained in a gang fight. Wheelchair-bound and cooped up in his apartment in a rough Cape Town neighbourhood, with no one to support him except his devoted girlfriend Pam, Randal is heavily indebted to his former gang-mate and sociopathic loan shark named Emmie. With no way of paying the money back, he despairs for himself and Pam as Emmie violently demonstrates what will happen if Randal doesn’t settle his debt before the end of the week.


Two years after the award-winning short film made its debut at the Silwerskerm Festival comes the full length feature, and boy was it worth the wait.

The big screen version of Nommer 37 gives a more intimate look at the characters, builds on the suspense created in the short and explores hard hitting societal themes. 

Set in the Cape Flats and with a title like Nommer 37 it is hard not to think that this film is another one about gangsterism but don’t let the name fool you, it is far more than what the title suggests. 

It is about one man’s desperate desire to get out of a bad situation and the consequences thereof when he chooses to do it through crime.

Most of the film takes place in one setting - a derelict block of flats and more specifically flat number 37 where Randal and Pam live.

Just like Randal is confined to the flat so are the viewers, which puts up in his shoes. We experience outside ‘life’ from his point of view with clever and climatic shots through Randal’s binoculars. This aids the film’s narrative. The view outside his window is as hopeless as it is inside. 

Irshaad Ally (Four Corners) who reprises his role as Randal is the stand out in this movie. He gives a captivating performance of a man wrestling with his internal demons and his external circumstances. 

Monique Rockman, who makes her big screen debut as Pam, held her own against the seasoned Ally. She gives a nuanced performance of someone who wants to do the right thing but in the end has to cross the line in order to live. 

The bad guys played by Danny Ross, Michael Solomon and David Manuel will put the fear of God in you, they nailed the ruthlessness.

Nommer 37 is a thrilling ride it has twists, turns and a lot of suspense that will keep you at the edge of your seat. 

It also explores strong societal themes of life on the Cape Flats: Gangesterism, drug addiction, poverty, crime and police corruption.

Support the local film industry by going to watch this movie. You will leave the cinema pleasantly surprised. Be warned though, there are some really violent scenes.

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