Neighbouring Sounds

O som ao redor

“Filho hones his vision into a powerful yet subtle X-ray of contemporary Brazilian society as seen on one upmarket street.” — Jay Weissberg, Variety

Year: 2012
Country: Brazil
Running time: 124 mins
Censor Rating: M - sex scenes, offensive language, drug use
Genres: Cinephiles, Drama

Screenplay: Kleber Mendonça Filho
Producer: Emilie Lesclaux
Photography: Pedro Sotero, Fabricio Tadeu
Editors: Kleber Mendonça Filho, João Maria
Production designer: Juliano Dornelles
Costume designer: Ingrid Mata
Music: DJ Dolores
In Portuguese with English subtitles

With: Irandhir Santos (Clodoaldo), Gustavo Jahn (João), Maeve Jinkings (Bia), W.J. Solha (Francisco), Irma Brown (Sofia), Lula Terra (Anco), Yuri Holanda (Dinho), Clébia Souza (Luciene), Albert Tenório (Ronaldo), Nivaldo Nascimento (Fernando)

Festivals: Rotterdam, New Directors/New Films, San Francisco 2012

Critics’ Prize, International Film Festival Rotterdam 2012

Not all the great filmmakers in Brazil come from Rio or Sao Paulo. Kleber Mendonça Filho’s drama of life on a sheltered prosperous street adjacent to a poor neighbourhood in Recife is the year’s most striking and compelling movie from a country that produces many.

“Set in a well-to-do apartment complex that’s like a small town to itself, the film vigorously explores the relationships between over a dozen inhabitants, from the building’s aging owner calling the shots from his penthouse, to the comfortable middle class residents lounging in their apartments, to the security guards patrolling the streets.

The characters intermingle in any number of impeccably crafted scenes; issues of class, race and power bubble beneath their interactions, revealing societal holes in Brazil’s current economic boom. With over a dozen featured characters, the outstanding ensemble deserves comparison with the best of Altman, and is topped only by Filho’s tremendous precision with camerawork and dialogue.” — Kevin Lee, 

“This is the kind of thrilling discovery that makes festival-going worthwhile… Filho, shooting in ’scope, makes unexpected and inventive use of space, and his cuts often shift the action in arresting ways, but he handles his meticulously constructed film with great ease. Neighbouring Sounds is the work of someone with an acute eye and ear for the push and pull of modern life, and it makes for genuinely compulsive viewing. Even though you may not be quite sure where things are heading during the circuitous build toward its stunning payoff, you know something’s going to happen.” — Gavin Smith, Film Comment


NZIFF STAFF PICK: Rebecca McMillan, Sibilla Paparatti