Oscar Angulo, a former Macchu Picchu tour guide, was shocked by the gunshots he heard when they first moved to the Bronx. So he decided that the outside world was hostile and shielded his 6 children Bhagavan, Govinda, Narayana, Mukunda, Krsna and Jagadisa, ranging in age from 23 to 16 from outside world by homeschooling them and bringing up within four walls. They were growing up in the heart of New York City totally cut off from outsiders. They were taken out only once or twice a year by their parents Oscar and Susanne.
The boys and their lone sister grew up together spending their time in making home movies featuring famous characters and knew their dialogues by heart. Reservoir Dogs and The Godfather were some of their favourites.
In 2010, one of the boys went out wearing a Michael Meyers Halloween mask that led to their discovery that people were not hostile as believed by their father. They pressured their father to allow them to go out often. In one such outings, they were ‘discovered’ by a young music video director and documentary film-maker, Crystal Moselle who preferred to call them “a lost tribe” because they moved like a gang without interacting much with outsiders. She endeared them by their commonly shared passion for making a film and was their ‘first’ guest to visit their home and ‘first’ friend. Their friendship thickened and so did the idea for the documentary gradually form.
She made them the subject of his award-winning documentary The Wolfpack. The Wolfpack won the best documentary at this year’s Sundance Film Festival because of the real-time filming and the brothers’ vast archive of home movies, including recreations of their favourite films. It received praise from critics and a five-star review from The Guardian for their creativity with limited space and resource.
All the brothers have started a company, Wolfpack Productions, to further their joint ambitions. They have seen the outside world and live in it for the past 5 years only, but the boys had enormously gained by their isolation that has unleashed their creativity, meticulousness for detail and patience.
The Wolfpack is released on 21 August.