It’s like an odd experiment, in which 6 young boys are locked away in an apartment in Manhattan with no access to the outside world for their whole lives. They’re not there by force, it’s just how they have been brought up by two parents who fear for their safety and as a result they don’t leave. The only knowledge they gain is the homeschooling from their mother, but also their continuous passion for movies.
Nicknamed “The Wolfpack”, they don Reservoir Dogs styled attire, talk with Italian-American gangster accents, and that’s when they’re not acting out their favourite movies in their entirety. Homemade props made from whatever they can find around the house, scripts transcribed manually by stop-starting the movie as it plays, and subsequently filmed to watch back to compare to the original. It’s admirable to see in such an intense state how imagination can transform the most basic of lives, even if it is aided by another persons work.
Director Crystal Moselle delves into why they are there, interviewing the parents in the process but the questions never really probe that deeply. Perhaps that is because there is little to say, little justifiable reasoning to explain why they would keep the kids in such a confined space. It appears like a lot remains unanswered, not helped by the documentary not being shown in chronological order for some odd reason, often feeling like a chore even though it clocks in at 80 minutes.
However, for all its faults, you cannot deny that it is interesting, if not a little eerie. Unsettling as to how it came about, but uplifting watching The Wolfpack make the best of their situation. I doubt this is the last we have seen of them.