You’ve never seen anything like this. Directed by first-time documentarian Crystal Moselle, The Wolfpack is a unique story focusing on six brothers who were raised in near total seclusion in a Lower East Side Manhattan housing project. As children of a father who imposed extremely controlling rules on the family, the brothers weren’t allowed to have contact with the outside world. (“Some years we’d go out maybe nine times; some years, once. One particular year, we never got out at all,” says one brother at the beginning of the film.)
Through current interviews and old family VHS footage, the film paints a layered portrait of their lives. The boys talk candidly about their perceptions of the world, their anxieties, and reveal their coping strategy for all those sheltered years: recreating their favourite movies. Though contact with strangers wasn’t allowed in their home, the boys were permitted to accumulate thousands of movies and this became their passion. Reciting lines, designing props and costumes, and recreating their favourite characters and scenes became their way of relating to one another and to the world they were disconnected from.
Timing is paramount in the movie. The film does an amazing job of not only telling the boys’ history through anecdotes, memories and family film footage, but it also catches the family at a watershed moment of growth as they begin to release themselves from the control of their patriarch.
You don’t want to miss this.
THE WOLFPACK is now playing at the Bloor Hot Docs Cinema in Toronto. For tickets and showtimes, click here.