Collaborative Blogging, Film Reviews

The Wolfpack, or: Cereal Boxes and Yoga Mats

Christa has decided to ramp up the classiness of the blog collab with our first foray into documentary. Bear with me as I’ve never reviewed a documentary except maybe as a school assignment.

You will probably want to read Christa’s review here.  Not required reading, but it should be.

The Film:

The Wolfpack

The Premise:

In a small apartment on the Lower East Side, seven siblings who aren’t allowed to go outside live under the rule of a controlling father. This is almost a fairy tale, isn’t it?

The Uncondensed Version:

Homeschooled and permitted to leave their apartment on rare occasions (under adult supervision), the Angulo siblings reenact their favorite movies to pass the time.

four teenage boys sit in folding chairs laughing, with one holding a steering wheel and pretending to drive
Exhibit A: Reservoir Dogs

It’s quite impressive, as they have little access to technology and equipment. One of the brothers writes down every line as he watches films and types out scripts on a typewriter. He also makes a Batman costume from cereal boxes and yoga mats and talks about the magic of film. It’s quite adorable.

a teenage boy looks out of an apartment window, dressed in a detailed Batman costume
Seriously…cardboard and yoga mats.

Their parents are free spirits, giving the children Sanskrit names, long hair, and the sense of being a tribe. Or, as one of the brothers puts it, it’s like a prison. The tribal mentality seems to come from a rejection of the world and their father’s belief in his own enlightenment. This would be cooler if he weren’t so controlling and abusive to their mother.

However, the siblings use the power of film to escape until they begin to venture out on their own when the eldest is 15. As you might expect, the decision to go out exploring leads to some big changes in the way they see the world. The Angulos try to balance their longing for new experiences with the fear of strangers and the outside world instilled in them for the entirety of their lives.

I think the power of this documentary rests with getting to know the Angulo siblings and admiring how genuinely sweet and introspective they are, so I’m going to stop.

Also they have a cat.

a boy holds an orange and white cat

The Rating:

4/5 Pink Panther Heads

Quite moving, and those siblings are so adorable it hurts.

It’s so hard not to want to punch the father in the face, esp. when he starts talking about Jesus and forgiveness in the context of him being the Jesus figure, essentially.  It is the absolute worst part of this film.

Thankfully, this documentary focuses on the siblings and their creative power, which is really much more interesting than yet another controlling, emotionally manipulative middle-aged dude.

Does Christa agree? Read her review here to find out!


13 thoughts on “The Wolfpack, or: Cereal Boxes and Yoga Mats”

  1. Wasn’t it hard to review a documentary?! Especially a good one. I loved this and I’m delighted you did too, I miss we’d seen it together. I hated Oscar, and I couldn’t stomach his shit about enlightenment. He’s horrid. The mother broke my heart!

    Shall we get on Christmas movies next? Classics or ones we’ve never seen? I have a soft spot for made-for-TV specials about ad execs who need to be retaught the true meaning of Christmas… xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ugh, this one was super hard to review, but those siblings, man. So cute.
      I’m warning you that I am the Grinchiest human being alive.
      I shall peruse Netflix and see if I can find anything to put me in the Christmas spirit…or make me even more of a Grinch. 😉


    1. I, uh, dislike holidays that detract from my quality time with Netflix.
      I acknowledge that I have become the world’s saddest human being.
      I do love the classics…White Christmas is on Netflix, eh eh? But I am also a little reluctant to touch that one as I don’t know that I can be objective about it.


      1. True bomb but I don’t think I’ve actually seen it! I was thinking how fun it would be to do Die Hard or something, can you imagine? But again it goes back to how could you possibly criticise it? I agree in a way, I like my life my way, but I also like days off and food, so it’s win win either way, I guess xoxo

        Liked by 1 person

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