70 critics and filmmakers discuss cinema from the age old conflict between the artist and the observer, the creator and the critic. From 1998 to 2007, Kleber Mendonça Filho has collected ... See full summary »
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Life in a middle-class neighborhood in present day Recife, Brazil, takes an unexpected turn after the arrival of an independent private security firm. The presence of these men brings a sense of safety and a good deal of anxiety to a culture which runs on fear. Meanwhile, Bia, married and mother of two, must find a way to deal with the constant barking and howling of her neighbor's dog. A slice of 'Braziliana', a reflection on history, violence and noise. Written by
O Som ao Redor
The Brazilian film O som ao redor was shown in the U.S. with the title Neighbouring Sounds (2012). It was directed by Kleber Mendonça Filho.
The setting for this movie is modern day Recife, Brazil. (Recife is a seaport at the easternmost tip of Brazil.) A better title for the movie would be "Neighborhood Sounds," because the sounds in this affluent neighborhood are intimately involved with the plot.
This is not a violent film. It doesn't take place in a favela, but rather in an affluent neighborhood. Still, violence is always lurking in the neighborhood, just off-screen. Every home has a security system, but any car parked in the street is fair game for thieves.
A security firm comes to the neighborhood, and most of the residents ante up the money to purchase their services. The security men appear honest and capable enough, and hiring them probably made sense. They become part of the neighborhood scene.
Meanwhile, life goes on around them. There's a dog that howls and barks all night, a woman who uses her vacuum to suck marijuana smoke out of her apartment, a pair of lovers, a deliveryman who delivers water and other substances on demand, and the locally influential man who walks past the "caution--sharks" sign to go swimming.
Matters come together in the end in a way I would never have predicted. I'm not going to spoil the ending by even hinting at it. However, it made sense once I thought about it.
We saw the film at the newly refurbished, excellent Dryden Theatre at Eastman House in Rochester, NY. However, it will work very well on DVD.
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