Neighboring Sounds (2012) translates literally as ‘The Sound of the Surroundings’, or you might say the aura of a specific place. The atmosphere surrounding a middle class condo building in the coastal city of Recife, Brazil is definitely palpable in this enigmatic but fascinating new film.
The movie shows how the neighborhoods and the structures that we live in may have changed drastically over time, but people basically have not. We are still the same primitive beings with the same habits, prejudices, passions and fallacies as always, and no amount of security can protect us from that.
The movie represents in many ways the colonial fear of being invaded, and how it still affects and influences us today. Throughout the film we are aware of how the modern high rise condo is infiltrated by outsiders due to the weaknesses of its residents. The suspicious events are like a pill that one resident plants in the meat that tranquilizes a guard dog. A drug dealer poses as a water delivery person, a maid bring her children to play in the safety of the apartment where she works, and as the newly hired street security guards gain access to the building, their true purpose is unknown but will be revealed in the final explosive moments of the film.