Documentary on 7 New York Kids Raised in Isolation Screened at Sundance


Crystal Moselle’s documentary ‘Wolfpack ´on seven siblings, who were raised in complete isolation inside a four-bedroom apartment in New York City, was screened Jan. 25 at the Sundance Festival in Park City, Utah.

The Angulo siblings – six brothers and a sister – were cut off from most access to the world beyond their door on orders from their Peruvian-born father Oscar Angulo, a devout Hare Krishna, and were allowed only rare and strictly supervised visits to the outside world.

Locked away from society in an apartment on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, the documentary shows the six brothers – Bhagavan Angulo, Govinda Angulo, Jagadisa Angulo, Krsna Angulo, Mukunda Angulo and Narayana Angulo – learn about the outside world through the films that they watch.

Nicknamed the Wolfpack, the brothers spend their childhood re-enacting their favorite films using elaborate homemade props and costumes.

With no friends and living on welfare, they feed their curiosity, creativity, and imagination with film, which allows them to escape from their feelings of isolation and loneliness.

Everything changes when one of the brothers escapes, and the power dynamics in the house are transformed. The Wolfpack must learn how to integrate into society without disbanding the brotherhood.

Thirty-four-year-old Moselle said she gained access to the family by meeting the boys by chance during one of their rare visits outside. Filming the boys almost exclusively within the confines of what is both their prison and their refuge, Moselle presents a narrative that deftly avoids judgment and analysis, a review of the film on the Sundance website says. Her footage, which spans five years, is supplemented by extensive home videos recorded by the family.