The Wolfpack

It’s Grey Gardens meets The Truman Show.

In 2010, Crystal Moselle discovers seven siblings locked in a housing project (by their Hare Krishna dad) in the lower East Side of New York City.

Locked in a Manhattan apartment for 14 years, the Angulo brothers know the world only through films.

Dubbed ‘The Wolfpack’, the trapped children recreate epic movie scenes from Batman, The Godfather and Reservoir Dogs.

Until one (Mukunda (15)) escapes in 2010, they’d never heard the word “Google”.

The “Wolfpack Brothers” life story reveals a family’s resilience and transformation.

Directed by Moselle in 2015, “The Wolfpack” challenges our notions of family, freedom, and reality.

Thanks to Hollywood Honcho Brian Savelson for the tip.

Trailer for “The Wolfpack”

Where to Watch The Wolfpack

Some streaming options

Vitals

  • Genre: Urban Isolation, Family Drama
  • Release Date: June 12, 2015
  • Director: Crystal Moselle
  • Narrator: N/A (The doc is primarily led by the Angulo brothers themselves)
  • Duration: 89 minutes

My Favorite Parts (Includes Spoiler Alerts!)

  • A lifetime inside. For 14 years, the Angulo brothers know Manhattan from films alone.
  • Their father taught the kids to not only stay away from other people but not to look at them.
  • Some years the kids left the house 9 times a year…sometimes not at all.
  • Their father is the only one with a key to the front door. The mom gets to use it only for emergency appointments.
  • One son says dad would slap mom.
  • The family has 5,000 movies. Their favorites are Godfather, Reservoir Dogs, Citizen Kane, Casablanca, Dark Knight (Batman).
  • Film Reenactments: The Wolfpack Brothers meticulously recreated scenes from various movies. For example, they acted out scenes from Quentin Tarantino’s “Reservoir Dogs” and Christopher Nolan’s “The Dark Knight”.
  • Handmade Costumes: With limited resources, they crafted detailed costumes. Cardboard, yoga mats, and cereal boxes transformed into Batman suits and other outfits.
  • Homemade Props: Using household items, they made props for their film reenactments. This included weapons like guns and knives crafted from cardboard and tape. They create a Batman suit from yoga mats and cereal boxes and guns from cardboard and tin foil.
  • Script Writing: They transcribed movies by watching them and then acted them out. These scripts became their gateway to the world outside.
  • Filmmaking: They eventually started shooting their own home movies, which showcased their imagination and understanding of cinematic techniques.
  • 15-year-old Mukunda decided to walk around the neighborhood in January 2010, against their father’s instruction to remain inside. Mukunda wears a Michael/Friday the 13th mask (so his father (out shopping) won’t recognize him. Mukunda gets arrested.
  • Eventually all the kids go outside on their own. A SWAT team charges into the apartment looking for a 38 handgun. They handcuff everyone. All they find are the prop weapons.
  • “Google” is a new word they learn after escaping the apartment.
  • Mukunda moves out to get his own apartment

After the Documentary Came Out

  • Narayana is the second brother to move out
  • They’ve met celebrities from actor Mark Ruffalo to directors David O. Russell and Spike Lee along the way — “20/20” introduced them to Robert De Niro, one of their idols. Source

Thanks for reading!

-Rob Kelly