In the latest from director Juanjo Giménez, a sound designer must rethink her career and life when her vision and hearing fall out of sync.
Contemporary World Cinema
OUT OF SYNC
Sounds and our ability to hear them constitute a primordial connection among humans, our surroundings, and our sense of self. This might be even truer for the unnamed woman at the centre of the beguiling film by Spanish director Juanjo Giménez who is a professional sound editor and foley artist at a post-production studio but enters a dark moment of her life when she has to accept that her hearing is “falling behind” the sounds she perceives.
The alarming, progressive condition leads her to question her own soundness of mind, and to confide to a colleague that she is “out of sync.” But there is an emotional element to her disconnection troubles. The more she is under duress, the further sounds seem to go away from her, to the point where she ends up listening to “the past” of any given place, even if she wasn’t there when utterances were made. In the face of panic, she finds her painful disorder can also be a sort of power and decides to keep searching for the deeper meaning of what she’s discovered.
What begins as a rare medical condition subtly turns to the supernatural, as the woman becomes able to tune into sounds of a more distant past (like the moment of her own birth), or even the near future. Unexpected and sharply executed — the taut lead by Marta Nieto will keep you on your toes — the film fully delivers on its unlikely premise while leaving more than enough room for us to ponder the ways we trust our senses, or simply take them for granted.
Content advisory: strobing effects