KLEBER MENDONÇA FILHO
Brazil, 2012, 124 minutes, 35mm, Color, film’s website
Cast: Irandhir Santos (Clodoaldo), Gustavo Jahn (João), Meve Jinkings (Bia), W. J. Solha (Francisco), Irma Brown (Sofia), Lula Terra (Anco), Yuri Holanda (Dinho) and Clébia Souza (Luciene).
The setting is the city of Recife, Brazil, on a seaside street, much of it owned by Francisco (W.J. Solha), an old-school paterfamilias. Director Kleber Mendonca Filho divides the film into three chapters, effortlessly weaving together his characters while slipping in small details that cumulatively speak of class, race, and the nation’s uneasy past. Beatriz (Maeve Jinkings) is almost always seen in her apartment, an airy setup with all the appurtenances of the middle class. She has certain needs, of course. Just arrived on the street is a private security team, which convinces residents that its services are needed. Viewers know the protection required is from inner demons, not outer ones. That Filho can juggle so many important issues without being heavy-handed or dropping a single one speaks volumes about his strengths. Neighboring Sounds captures the very fabric of Brazilian society, whose seemingly porous hierarchies prove to be prohibitively rigid. —Variety