The Wolfpack
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When you become a parent, you begin to realize just how scary the world can be. But while most of us regularly venture out with our children, gradually training them to be able to face the world on their own, some succumb to their fears. Still, it’s unlikely that you’ll ever meet a family that’s been sheltered as much as the one in the eye-opening documentary The Wolfpack.

The Wolfpack tells the story of the Angulo brothers—six young men who have spent their lives locked away in a Manhattan apartment with their parents and sister, sometimes going an entire year without escaping its confines. With no real connection to the outside world, they learned about life through their massive movie collection, often acting out their favorite films with amazing precision. But everything changed for these sheltered boys when one of them decided to venture out on his own.

  
 
Through interviews and years of home video footage, The Wolfpack shows what it was like for these kids to grow up as prisoners in their own home—but you might be surprised by what you see here. Though their stories detail some of their experiences with living with an arrogant, controlling, and probably delusional father, these aren’t sad, beaten-down kids. In a way, the video footage is just like anyone’s old home movies—with the kids playing and having fun together. They almost seem like a perfectly normal family—aside from the fact that all of the videos take place inside their apartment. Meanwhile, the footage also reveals the boys’ passion for films—showing their reenactments of everything from Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs to The Dark Knight in remarkable detail (complete with homemade costumes and props).

You might expect the brothers to be awkward and withdrawn—and, for some, that’s certainly the case. Others, however, are eager to sit in front of the camera and tell their side of the story. For as long as they can remember, they’ve lived either inside their favorite movies or inside their own heads. They’ve had plenty of time to think about their lives—about their parents, their memories, and their fears. And, for some of them, the years of thoughts and stories come pouring out once the camera is on them. They’re smart and thoughtful and often surprisingly articulate—though they have a tendency to sound more like characters in their favorite movies than like real people. And as they slowly make their way out into the real world as the film progresses—venturing out to experience everything from movie theaters to an apple orchard (their mom even makes a call to her octogenarian mother for the first time in decades)—it’s a remarkable (and often touching) transformation.

The Wolfpack once again proves Mark Twain’s declaration that truth is stranger than fiction. It’s an unbelievable story with an extraordinary cast of real-life characters. And though, on the surface, it’s simply a fascinating (and entertaining) film, it also offers its own insights about family, fears, and the world as we know it.


Ed. Note: The Wolfpack is currently showing in select theaters. For more information, visit TheWolfpackFilm.com.


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