Crystal Moselle's documentary The Wolfpack takes us inside the strange, magical world of the Angulo Brothers
Earlier this week I was urging a friend to see "The Wolfpack," Crystal Moselle's amazing new film which is now playing in LA, New York, Seattle, DC, Philadelphia and a bunch of other cities following its premiere at Sundance.
I told my friend it was about a group of brothers who were virtually held prisoner in a New York apartment by their domineering father. The boys compensated for this isolation by creating a world of imagination built around movies. My friend responded by saying, "Eh, sounds depressing!"
I kind of have like interesting strange stories that come into my life quite often. I mean this is obviously the one I really went after.
Obviously I did a poor job of describing the film, because "The Wolfpack" is anything but depressing. In fact, it's uplifting, moving, entertaining and, in a word, awesome. Even Manohla Dargis gave it a rave in the New York Times, and she doesn't pull punches.
It was my pleasure a few weeks ago to interview 34-year-old director Crystal Moselle. It seems safe to say no one else could have made the film. Firstly, it was she who chased down the boys on a Manhattan street on one of their rare forays out of the house. Who does that? Either a crazy person, or a creative, driven individual who has an instinct about a story. Read my piece for Documentary magazine here, which is based on my conversation with the director.
"The Wolfpack" premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January where it won the Grand Jury Prize for documentary. To watch the trailer, click below.
Meeting Crystal, you can tell she is a deeply empathetic person. Without that quality, I don't think she could have befriended the brothers and eventually gained their trust. Moselle didn't immediately crash their apartment with a set of lights and start documenting-- in fact she only discovered over time just how unique the Angulo family dynamics were. Naturally, she had to want to make a film about them for it to happen, yet-- to the extent such a thing is possible-- the movie appears to have evolved organically from her close bond with the kids and their mother.
This is the proverbial movie you don't want to miss.
Matthew Carey is a documentary filmmaker and journalist. His work has appeared on CNN, CNN.com, TheWrap.com, NBCNews.com and Documentary.org.