Kleber Mendonça Filho | Brazil | 2012 | 131'| In Portuguese | English subtitles
The residents of a middle-class neighbourhood of Recife no longer feel safe; petty crime is flourishing and the block suffers a series of burglaries. A private security outfit offers its services, their help is accepted. At first this gives the residents a feeling of security, soon enough the downside becomes apparent: fear, anxiety and distrust start to dominate the prevailing climate, especially once it becomes apparent that the security guards mainly follow the orders of one of the most prosperous home owners. They turn a blind eye to the prosperous man’s grandson who is a car break-in suspect, whereas other offenders are not spared.
In this feature debut director Kleber Mendonça Filho depicts a claustrophobic microcosm where the lack of privacy, but even more so the discrepancy between rich and poor determine the lives of people. He mainly uses sounds to bring this across: the ceaseless barking of dogs, droning stereo systems and TVs, buzzing vacuum cleaners, tumbling washing machines... there is not one moment of peace and quiet. The feeling of insecurity doesn’t come from without, but from the residents themselves. Together with his excellent cast Filho manages to convey this astonishingly well. It earned him the FIPRESCI Prize at the International Film Festival Rotterdam 2012.
Director is present during the screening and available for Q&A on AUG 12.