Neighboring Sounds. 2012. Brazil. Directed by Kleber Mendonça Filho. With Maeve Jinkings, Gustavo Jahn, W.J. Solha, Irma Brown. 35mm. In Portuguese; English subtitles. 131 min.
Set in a middle and upper middle class residential block in Recife, a city of over 4 millions in northeast Brazil, Kleber Mendonça Filho’s sharply observed debut feature lays bare the inner dynamics of Brazilian society. Behind a peaceful and comfortable façade is the collective fear of violence and crimes brought in by outsiders. Residents who enjoy a privileged life join forces to hire a security team to keep watch over the neighborhood. Fragmented vignettes piece together a complex world defined by class and racial disparity. With three features to date, including Aquarius (2016) and Bacurau (2019), Mendonça has firmly earned a reputation for his penetrating takes on Brazilian life.