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The Wolfpack

Crystal Moselle

A huge hit at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, where it won the Grand Jury Prize, The Wolfpack really needs to be seen to be believed. Raising as many questions as it does answers, this story, of an extremely isolated family in New York City’s Lower East Side, is a compelling, at times disturbing and once-in-a-lifetime story. Documentary filmmaker Crystal Moselle must have thanked the heavens that it came her way.

Kept in seclusion in their tiny apartment for their entire childhoods, the seven Angulo siblings rarely got to go outside. Home schooled by their mother Susanne and kept under lock and key by their Peruvian father Oscar who mistrusts strangers, the brothers made their own fun, keeping sane by meticulously recreating all of their favourite movies. Rabid film buffs, they remade entire films, like Reservoir Dogs, reciting them line for line and wearing costumes made from cereal boxes and yoga mats. But as the boys mature, cracks start to appear in the family hierarchy and breaking free of their father’s dominance, they start to explore the real world outside.

The sense of foreboding and the elation of freedom that Moselle documents is palpable from beginning to end. Astonishingly, the film was made with the complete cooperation of the entire family, even Oscar. A truly fascinating true story, The Wolfpack will remain a talking point for sociologists and film fans alike for a long time to come.