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Sunday, April 19, 2015

THE WOLFPACK

A Tribeca Film Festival 2015 Selection

By D.E, Levine

A very strange group of siblings is displayed in this film.  The seven siblings, all part of the Angulo family, live in a New York City apartment, where their parents  have kept them locked away and sheltered them from the outside world.  However, there has been no effort to shield them from the Hollywood movies.

The patriarch, Oscar Angulo, keeps his six sons and one daughter in a public housing apartment on Manhattan's Lower East Side.  An unsuccessful musician who drinks heavily, this Peruvian Hare Krishna follower, Oscar and his American wife Suzanne have home-schooled the children (ages 16-24), and forbidden them to leave the apartment except on very rare, carefully supervised excursions.

When they set no limits on the types of movies the children could watch, the boys began transcribing and memorizing scripts of the movies they saw and re-enacting them in their living room.  They were creative in producing costumes, props and poster art.  Many of their re-enactments are in this film and very entertaining.

Crystal Moselle has not found a clear theme in this film.  It does not develop the boys as individuals and there are several stories to be told and the director is unclear as to which she is concentrating on.

Abuse and mistreatment at the hands of the parents is passed over with no examination.  Also unexplained is how the Angulos have managed to avoid the influences of the outside world and the regulations and restrictions society mandates, for so long.