The Angulo siblings grew up in New York City. More accurately, they grew up inside a single building in the city, spending 14 years of their respective childhoods confined to the four bedroom apartment belonging to their parents.
The home-schooled children learned of the outside world only from their parents and the films they were allowed to watch. Their bizarre case is now the subject of a documentary titled The Wolfpack.
Oscar Angulo, a Peruvian immigrant and Hare Krishna devotee, decided to keep his seven children — Bhagavan, 23, twins Govinda and Narayana, 22, Mukunda, 20, Krisna, 18, Jagadesh, 17, and their sister Visnu — confined to their home to shelter them from the corrupt world outside. The front door was kept locked at all times to make sure they wouldn’t escape.
After 14 years imprisoned, one of the brothers managed to escape, sparking the other siblings to follow. During one of their rare ventures into the outside world in 2010, documentarian Crystal Moselle spotted the six brothers strolling down first avenue, wearing sunglasses inspired by Reservoir Dogs, one of their favorite films.
Oddity Central reports that Moselle was immediately fascinated by the siblings and worked to earn their parents’ trust so she could learn more. Before long, she was allowed to bring a camera into their insulated home and recording the siblings.
All seven have seen thousands of films and spend a fair portion of their free time trying to reenact their favorite scenes with exact details. Of course, they often employ homemade costumes and props.
“They had no friends,” Moselle explained. “They were homeschooled and their only window to the world was movies. “Everything was pretty much kept within the household. What’s so fascinating about them is that they really have created their own world through their interpretations of the films they have watched.”
The world behaves differently than the world so often depicted in film, and it’s an uphill battle for the Angulo siblings to understand that.
Their mother Susanna was similarly sheltered after marrying Oscar. Described as a hippie raised in the Midwest, she became the sole provider and educator for her sons. Although he’s opened up in recent years, father Oscar still holds onto the belief that New York City will somehow contaminate his children.
Despite their limited worldview as defined by film, Moselle insists that the Angulos are still some of the most “gentle, insightful, curious” people she had ever met.
Today, the siblings are allowed to venture outside on a regular basis, and all of them attended Sundance Film Festival last month, where The Wolfpack won the Grand Jury Prize for best U.S. documentary.