Review By: Hannah Lawrance
Meet the Angulo brothers. AKA The Wolfpack.
Also if you hate spoilers, skip ahead a bit.
The Wolfpack is a documentary about a family. You’ve probably heard of this family before. Six brothers all live in the same apartment as their parents in downtown New York. And they never go outside. When I say never, it’s not an “I never get drunk” and then drop Jaeger-bombs every third weekend kind of never. I mean stepping outside of the house nine times a year type of never. One year, they didn’t leave their apartment at all. Not once. Not a single foot stepped onto the happening streets of New York.
Crystal Moselle, the director of the documentary first met the boys at a chance encounter on one of their outings. The insanely long hair and edgy 80’s style of six teenage boys caught her attention. As an inquisitive filmmaker she asked them where they were from and what they were doing. When she told them she was a filmmaker it sparker their interest, because film was their only hobby. After four months of a building a relationship she was allowed to step into the Angulo home. In whole, the documentary took four and a half years, and the outcome is more than just a terrific film
Let’s flash back a little.
In 1989 Oscar Angulo met Susanne and together they had a dream to build a family, but your typical love story stops there. Oscar is a devoted Hare Krishna megalomaniac. He essentially believes he was placed on this Earth for a reason – to lead people, procreate resulting in 10 children, and never work a day in his life. Since Krishna is his modeled god believing every man should have 10 children per wife, Oscar tried to live up to the name. But settling for monogamy with Susanne he only made it to seven. Cue six brothers: Bhagavan, Govinda, Narayana, Mukunda, Krsna, and Jagadisa, and one daughter, Visnu, born with Turner syndrome. Alongside the Sanskrit names, the boys had long tails of hair which wasn’t allowed to be cut.
Enter the streets of New York where on one side of the street youths roam the subway at night with pockets full of drugs and fake I.D’s hoping to hit up the seedy clubs and make misery. The opposite side of the street reeks of $100 bills in Chanel handbags Gossip Girl style. Both sides of the street are not fit for The Wolfpack, or so their father thought.
The thing that’s surprised me most about these kids, is their level of intelligence. They know their situation isn’t normal. They know they’re isolated and different. They know this because they see people walking around looking like ants from their apartment window. But the extent of their knowledge to the outside world is limited.
The documentary follows the boys as they journey from being isolated and scared about the world around them, to discovering life and New York for the first time. As I said, this isn’t your typical love story. But a love story based on a brotherhood – The Wolfpack – with these six boys conquering fears, rejection and the outside world together.
Showing 10 Sep at Luna Leederville