Director: Kleber Mendonça Filho
Cast: Irandhir Santos, Gustavo Jahn, Maeve Jinkings, W.J. Solha, Irma Brown, Lula Terra, Yuri Holanda
24 March 2012, Museum of Modern Art, NYC
Masters and servants circle each other in deadly embrace, in a paranoid urban fantasy played out against a background of guilt and hatred engendered by Brazil’s plantation history.
Shot in a cloistered upper-middle class enclave in Recife and in Pernambuco´s rain forest region, the sociological thriller O Som Ao Redor builds to a climax of generational revenge with the inevitability of a shark attack. Writer-director Kleber Mendonça Filho layers hyper-realistic scenes of domesticity onto a backbone of the uncanny, effectively conjured by almost-subliminal exploitation of an urban legend, circulated in Recife in the 1990s, of a feral spider-boy who broke into apartments of the rich by scaling building exteriors (see Mariana Lacerda’s Menino Aranha).
Brilliantly directed, with a diverse cast of memorable characters in perfect low-key performances that erupt tectonically.
Update: US Distributor – Cinema Guild (2012)