Director Kleber Mendonça Filho makes a beautifully impressive debut with Neighboring Sounds // O Som Ao Redor. A drama-filled spotlight on Brazilian community culture and the ever-increasing grasp of paranoia and security.
Bulky film info can be read as follows (via IFFR 2012):
“Meandering past the residents of a wealthy street in Recife, where private security guards ply their trade, this self-assured debut portrays the two sides of the Brazilian Dream. Filho scratches the varnish of a culture that revolves around paranoia, fear and revenge.
A few years ago, Kleber Mendonça Filho was given a ‘Short Profile’ at IFFR, so his feature debut has obviously been eagerly awaited. This cinephile jack-of-all-trades – filmmaker, festival organiser, critic and producer – from Recife in Brazil expanded on a theme from his short film Eletrodoméstica and turned it into a gripping, ominous debut.
An x-ray of a middle-class district in Recife: in the street where a rich family owns lots of real estate, life takes an unexpected turn when a private security outfit offers its services to the residents. The presence of guards (led by Clodoaldo, played by Irandhir Santos, who is also the protagonist in Rat Fever) gives them a feeling of security, but also adds a large dose of anxiety in a society that flourishes on fear. Meanwhile Bia, the mother of two children, tries to find a way to deal with the barking of the guard dogs that gives her sleepless nights.
NEIGHBORING SOUNDS is a piece of contemporary Braziliana that effortlessly offers new insights into an apparently normal socio-economic network. Deserving of special mention: the excellent acting across the whole cast and the way in which the urban space and interior design play a leading role.”
You can watch the trailer down at the bottom of this page.