The Wolf Pack

(USA 2015)

The Wolf Pack is Crystal Moselle’s bizarre account of one family’s reclusive life imposed upon it by its weirdo patriarch in a public housing project on the lower east side of Manhattan. Forbidden to leave the apartment, pretty much everything the Angulo kids “know” comes from movies. The juxtaposition of the Empire State Building outside the small apartment’s window serves as a constant, nagging metaphor for their situation: trapped in a box inside one of the biggest and busiest cities in the world, watching but not participating as life goes on without them.

The Wolk Pack wowed me on many levels. Watching the Angulo pack get through an awkward trek to Coney Island shined a light on each brother’s personality, perhaps to illustrate nature-versus-nurture. The coping mechanisms they adopted, like acting out perfect imitations of Tarantino and Batman movies as an escape, were downright heartbreaking. To see that these kids, mostly boys, came out of this experience as relatively well-adjusted, cool people is fucking amazing.

(Music Box) A-

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