Memories are not always of significant moments. There are the times in between, where we are who we are, in the places we live, with the people we surround ourselves with. In Kleber Mendonca Filho’s Neighboring Sounds, a well-to-do Brazilian family that populates a city block in Recife, Brazil, eats, sleeps, stares, eavesdrops, fights, make up, and continue to live their lives. But within these quotidian acts lie the small joys and defeats of what it’s like to get through a day unscathed.
A somewhat questionable security company comes to the block to offer its services as night guards. Soon the leader of the pack begins to mess around with the help, another watchmen only has one eye. They stand on the corners, watching nothing, talking about even less, while their employers sit indoors, smoking pot to stay interested, stealing from each other, using household appliances in place of their sexual partners.
Between these moments of solitude, they do at times come together. When a real estate agent brings his girlfriend to her childhood home she notices the stars on the ceiling of her old bedroom. He lifts her up to touch the stars, and as she remembers a past she’d completely forgotten, he smells her dress, takes her in, a moment he hopes he’ll remember forever.