Documentary about brothers living in seclusion is fascinating, intriguing

“The Wolfpack” is a 2015 documentary about six brothers living in confinement in Lower East Side Manhattan and how their exposure to Hollywood film taught them about the world outside their four-bedroom apartment window.

Living in isolation and only allowed to go outside maybe one day a year, these brothers stayed sane by reenacting movies.

Besides being homeschooled by their Peruvian-Angulo and somewhat alcoholic father, and their white ex-hippie mother, these boys spend all their time handwriting scripts and creating props with cereal boxes and cut up yoga mats to reenact movies from their 5000 file film library. They make their four bedroom apartment their skate park, their theater, their playground and their great outdoors until they start to long for the real world outside the white walls that imprison them.

The documentary comes to them at a time of change in their family dynamic, as these brothers begin to assert their independence. The trigger point was when the eldest brother, Mukunda, decides to walk out of his home on his own without permission from his father.

It’s crazy to think that these brothers had no problem being raised in isolation; they all seem to be perfectly happy with their confinement, some even preferring confinement over integrating into the society around them. There is no questioning these guys’ mental health, as they are all smart and witty and a just a little bit eccentric like the rest of us.

The documentary was eye-opening in the idea that not everyone needs to be a part of the world around them to be mentally-stable, functioning human beings. Yeah, these brothers all have straight long black ponytails and ride the subway wearing black suits resembling “Reservoir Dogs” characters, but they all act like normal guys just enjoying the lives they live.

You just don’t know what to expect throughout the whole documentary, and honestly it’s kind of uncomfortable to watch from beginning to end. There is a lack of background music, and the family’s whole situation of confinement is eerily sad; but it’s one of those films that you can’t really tear away from.

Not only is it intriguing to see how this family’s exposure to film kept them all from going insane, but the documentary itself leaves a lot of questions unanswered.

It slightly suggests that something somewhere went wrong. But whatever it was, it isn’t our business to interfere; the family is perfectly fine dealing with it on their own.

Maybe it’s because the whole concept of getting all your cultural and societal information from Hollywood films is such an interesting concept, but there’s something about this family that keeps your eyes glued to the screen. You don’t want to miss a word any of them say, because you just never know what to expect.

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