Magnolia has released the first The Wolfpack trailer for director Crystal Moselle’s utterly captivating and unique documentary. The film—which took home the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance this year—chronicles the lives of six brothers who grew up entirely within the confines of a New York City apartment, with movies serving as their only connection to the outside world. As the brothers grew restless in what was essentially a prison (with their father as the warden), they began finding a means of escape by not only watching films over and over again, but literally transcribing the screenplays and then acting out their own versions with costumes and all.
I caught the movie at Sundance and it’s a pretty astounding story. I’m happy that this trailer doesn’t hide the darkness of the film—it would’ve been easy to simply focus on a band of brothers who re-enact movies, but there’s a dark undercurrent throughout the film relating to their father and his intense fear of his children being “tainted” by the outside world. While I do wish Moselle had delved a little deeper into the boys’ relationship with their dad, the film is very worthwhile nonetheless and acts as a fascinating case study of how using movies as a tool to understand humanity shapes one’s worldview.
Here’s the official synopsis for The Wolfpack:
Locked away from society in an apartment on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, the Angulo brothers 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.