O Som ao Redor

O Som ao Redor
Neighboring Sounds

The lives of the residents of a Brazilian apartment building and the security guards who get the job guarding the surrounding streets.


“Though there are no shacks or shanties in this ambitious debut feature, class and racial tensions and a generalized paranoia inform, however subtly, every interaction – the resentments and misunderstandings reverberating as a low-level thrum, much like the barely perceptible sounds that subliminally score the film. Set in a well-off oceanfront neighborhood in Recife, a city of four million in northeastern Brazil – where the director himself, a former film critic, lives – Neighboring Sounds burrows deep to expose the unarticulated though ever-present sense of dread gripping its bourgeois characters.”

Melissa Anderson1

“Francisco’s foil is Clodoaldo, the seemingly deferential head of the security team that sets up on a street corner, changing the dynamics of life in the neighborhood. Like Mr. Solha, Irandhir Santos, who plays Clodoaldo, is a native of northeast Brazil accustomed to what he called ‘the perverse logic’ of the region’s history of social oppression. ‘Certain aspects of that logic have simply been transferred from the sugar mills to these tall apartment buildings,’ Mr. Santos said. ‘Instead of wire fences to ensure the separation of classes, you’ve got security cameras and guards, and that transposition is what motivated me to help Kleber tell this story.’”

Larry Rohter2


“A film critic and programmer, Mendonça reveals a greater debt to the nouvelle vague than to Cinema Novo in his sometimes flaunty compendia of shots and edits – tilt, travelling, dissolve, rack, follow, zoom (fast and slow), Steadycam, fade, insert, close-up, match, tracking (lateral and not) – and his occasional homage to previous cinema.”

James Qandt3

Cinema Nova, Brussels