Film Review: The Wolfpack

 

wolfpack-posterThe Wolfpack is a documentary that deals with the Angulo family, and more specifically the six Angulo brothers. The six teenaged brothers were born and raised in Manhattan’s lower east side, but spent the majority of their lives locked away in their family’s public housing apartment with their parents and sister. Their mother and father met in Peru and then moved to the US where their mother was from. Their father insisted that they home school their children and shelter them from the outside world to such a degree that the children barely left the apartment. One of the children even states that there was a year in which they didn’t leave the apartment at all. As a result of their isolation, the brothers became movie obsessed and devoured any films they can see, then reenacted and made their own remakes of the films they liked the most. This documentary meets up with the boys after they made the decision to enter the outside world and encounter society to pursue their own lives and interests.

Director Crystal Moselle and editor Enat Sidi have crafted a compelling narrative using their own interviews with the family, home videos and the boys’  movie re-creations. As a character study The Wolfpack is very interesting but it seems to leave more questions than answers when it comes to the family’s living situation and history. The father is noticeably underrepresented in the interviews, and a host of other questions arise. How does the family get by in NY city when the father doesn’t work and the mother home schools the children? Why would the parents decide to shelter their children from the outside world, but allow them free reign to watch violent horror and action films? What was the parents’ end goal in this as surely the children would grow up and want to leave at some point?

Overall, the film is very intriguing and entertaining and I do recommend seeing it, but I just wish it had been a bit longer so we could gain a better understanding of The Wolfpack. Fans of character study based documentaries will certainly enjoy The Wolfpack and movie buffs of all kinds will certainly get joy out of following the Angulo brothers as they venture out to see their first movie in an actual theater. I expect everyone will enjoy seeing the brothers reenact scenes from Pulp Fiction, Reservoir Dogs, the recent Batman films, and dressing up as a host of other characters. Check it out at the Cable Car Cinema starting Fri, Jun 26.

The Wolfpack (2015); Director: Crystal Moselle

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