One of the most interesting documentaries I've seen this year, THE WOLFPACK explores six brothers growing up in NYC who are only allowed to leave their home one or two times a year.
Their South American father is very controlling over both his sons, his wife and their young daughter. Dad has decided to rebel against the "system" by not working, which confines his family to living in subsidized housing in NYC. It's a dangerous atmosphere, so he home schools them and provides them with thousands of films, which become the world in which they live.
As you watch the Angulo brothers, you are at first amazed at how well adjusted they are for the circumstances. Then you are stunned as you watch the scene for scene videos they make, replicating their favorite films like The Dark Knight Rises and Reservoir Dogs. They make the sets, costumes and props and write down every word of the script, recreating the films down to the camera angle and emotional nuance of the originals.
As the oldest brother decides that he wants to leave the house and explore NYC on his own, his brothers are soon equally curious.
It's fascinating to watch them in public. Every experience outside of their apartment is a new discovery, every encounter seems like exploring another world.
With their favorite filmmaker being Tarantino, they have a skewed vision of socially acceptable language, but they are emotionally very centered young men, hugely supportive of each other and their mother.
Documentarian Crystal Moselle somehow gains deep trust with both of the boys parents, painting a sad picture of their Mother as she struggles with obeying her husband's wishes while dreaming of freedom for her boys. Even their father is interviewed and opens up on his parenting styles and the life he has lived.
As the boys world expands from their apartment to the Lower East Side of Manhattan and beyond, their lives are changed and everything they know is challenged.
These are good kids with real dreams and drive, emerging from the walls they know to test the world around them.
THE WOLFPACK is an emotionally powerful look at the bonds of brotherhood, maternity and cultural adaption. The boys get an A.