After a series of burglaries on a middle-class Recife avenue, a private security team is hired by the residents—with ominous results. A gripping and expectations-upending slow-burn thriller from Kleber Mendonça Filho, Neighbouring Sounds is one of the first films from Brazil to deal with the clash between the archaic, exploitive class-based society of plantation owners and workers, and the more modern and egalitarian bourgeois society that Brazil has become. It is also superbly constructed, wonderfully acted and luminously filmed.
"A revelatory debut feature. Mr. Mendonça, a former film critic whose command of the medium is both formidable and subtle. The scope of his movie is narrow, but its ambitions are enormous, and it accomplishes nothing less than the illumination of the peculiar state of Brazilian (and not only Brazilian) society." AO Scott, New York Times
"I’d put money on the likelihood that Brazil’s Kleber Mendonça Filho is on track to become a major filmmaker in the coming years." Gavin Smith, Film Comment
"A thoroughly modern, film-savvy opus (at times it suggests Cache as directed by Paul Thomas Anderson), steeped equally in dread and humor." Dennis Lim, Artforum
Argentina, Spain, Brazil
The 12-year-old son of political dissidents fighting the brutal military junta in 1970s Argentina, Juan goes to school under an assumed name and gets his first crush on a girl. But when his parents suddenly need to pack up and run his life is changed forever.
"Most coming-of-age movies don’t open with the prepubescent protagonist’s mom and dad getting into a cartoon gunfight in the street—then again, there are lots of unusual touches in Argentine filmmaker Benjamin Ávila’s feature. Blessed with old-school pedigree (producer Luis Puenzo made the Oscar-winner The Official Story) This ’70s-set story of a boy (Teo Gutiérrez Romero) and his exiled revolutionary parents returning home on the sly follows a well-trod path of viewing history through a child’s eyes. But the way the director throws in offbeat elements—animation, a Moonrise Kingdom–ish interlude in the woods, surreal dream sequences—without diluting the Dirty War drama is impressive." David Fear, Time Out New York
"A charming, involving first feature, Clandestine Childhood muscles its familiar coming-of-age material into something more vibrant and urgent than the usual. Through sharp editing and director Benjamín Ávila’s moment-making brio, this ’70s period piece charts a young boy’s attempts to carve out something like a childhood despite being the son of wanted revolutionaries in the Argentina of General Jorge Rafael Videla, whose brutal government "disappeared" millions just like them." Alan Scherstuhl, Village Voice