The Wolfpack: A True Story

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six bright teenage brothers have spent their entire lives locked away from society in a manhattan housing project. all they know of the outside is gleaned from the movies they watch obsessively (and recreate meticulously). yet as adolescence looms, they dream of escape, ever more urgently, into the beckoning world.

— Synposis

In the Spring of 2010, filmmaker Crystal Moselle saw a group of six boys darting in and out of the crowds “They ran past me. They had this amazing hair and they were all in sunglasses,” she explains. “I instinctively ran after them.” Little did she know that her decision to follow them would become a five-year project – and result in one of the most acclaimed documentaries of 2015, The Wolfpack.

The day they met was very special to the boys, it was the first time that all six of them had been outside in New York together and without their father. The lived a very sheltered existence in a 16th floor apartment on the Lower East Side. Their father, a Peruvian musician kept the siblings and their older sister Visnu in near captivity for most of their childhoods, being home-schooled by their mother Susanne, an America who met Oscar at Machu Pichu in the late eighties.

On the day that they met the filmmaker, the boys entertained her with a scene from Platoon. It turned out that recreating films was a big part of their lives and a way to feel powerful. They created props and costumes and even typed out scripts verbatim.

It is the boys' incredible recreations of films that mesmerise you, just as it did with Moselle. The boys are having an amazing time since the movie won the Grand Jury documentary prize at the Sundance Film Festival, meeting many of their idols including Robert De Niro.

Since filming ended last year, the brothers have all progressed, Govinda and Mukunda now are both working as assistants in film production; Eddie, 17, and Glenn, 18, plan to start a band; Bhagavan, 24, teaches yoga; and Narayana, works for an activist organisation, Niperg – the New York Public Interest Research Group. 

They’ve also set up Wolfpack Productions with Moselle, in the hope of collaborating on another film. 

The Wolfpack opens on 21 August