These 6 brothers and a sister never left their home for 23 years because of a paranoid father who believed that New York would contaminate them. The children had to learn everything they know from watching over 5,000 movies. Read the strange story below from UK Daily Mail
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The strange tale of six brothers and one sister who grew up in New York but were never allowed out to explore the city’s streets has become the subject of a new documentary.
The Angulo siblings – Bhagavan, 23, twins Govinda and Narayana, 22, Mukunda, 20, Krisna, 18, Jagadesh, 17, and their sister Visnu – lived with their parents on welfare in a four-bedroom apartment in Manhattan’s Lower East Side. Their father, Oscar, kept the only key and the door was always locked.
Home-schooled by their mother, the siblings found an outlet watching movies which gave them a taste, albeit a warped one, of the outside world.
The lives of the Angulo family became the subject of film,The Wolfpack, from director Crystal Moselle.
The documentary won the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival in Utah last month. The six brothers and their mother Susanne also attended the premiere. Their sister, Visnu, who is the eldest and suffers developmental challenges, did not attend.
The story emerged in 2010, when Ms Moselle met one of the brothers – then aged between 11 and 18 years old – on a rare escape into the outside world.
She described first seeing them, on First Avenue, when they were all walking in a ‘pack’, wearing sunglasses and with their long hair blowing. Their look had been inspired by Reservoir Dogs.
Ms Moselle said: ‘It almost felt as if I had discovered a long lost tribe, except it was not from the edges of the world but from the streets of Manhattan.’
The filmmaker befriended the boys, slowly earned the family’s trust and was invited into their sheltered world, bringing her camera with her.
Ms Moselle said that boy’s mother, Susanne Angulo, slowly opened up to her but that the father, was a ‘rollercoaster’.
Daily Mail Online was awaiting comment from the film’s distributor, Magnolia Pictures.
According to the documentary’s blurb, which runs to one hour and 24 minutes, it follows the siblings’ isolated lives.
‘All exceedingly bright, they have no acquaintances outside of their family and have practically never left home,’ the film’s press release reads.
They fed their imaginations by meticulously re-enacting favorite movies – works by Quentin Tarantino, Christopher Nolan and Martin Scorcese among them.
Their movie reconstructions were elaborate – at one point, two of the brothers recreated Batman: Dark Knight Rises’ costumes out of no more than cereal boxes and yoga mats.
The brother says: ‘After I saw the Dark Knight, that made me believe that something was possible to happen. Not because it was Batman, it’s because it felt like another world.
‘I did everything I could to make that world come true. To escape my world.’
In all they had watched about 5,000 movies which were rented or bought cheaply.
The parents above…
Finally, one of the brothers escapes the home, and the clan is forced to readjust and begin taking their first steps into society.
Ms. Moselle told The New York Times: ‘It’s fascinating what the human spirit does when it’s confined.
‘The downside to all the movies – and they have seen, like, 5,000 – is that there are certain formulas to them.
‘Real life is different. In real life, the girl doesn’t always break your heart. The boys are still struggling to understand that.’
The children come across as a likable and intelligent group in the film, despite their unimaginably sheltered lives.
Their mother, Susanne, appears to have been controlled to the same extent that her children were.
She is described as a former hippie from the Midwest who is both the provider and educator for the family. She met her husband on the trail to Machu Picchu.
Their father, Oscar, appears on briefly on camera. The Peruvian immigrant, who is devoted to Hare Krishna, appears caught in a struggle with paranoia and alcohol.
The once aspiring musician, with a deep love for AC/DC, instilled his love of music in his sons and daughter. He believes that New York will ‘contaminate’ his children.
However filmmaker Ms Moselle reserved judgement on Mr Angulo, telling The Times: ‘The thing is, these brothers are some of the most gentle, insightful, curious people I’ve ever met. Something was clearly done right.’
According to The Times, social services did have involvement at the home and the children have received some psychiatric treatment.
In the film, all the siblings can be seen struggling with resentment towards their father for the life they have been forced to lead.
Six of the siblings still live in the family’s Lower East Side apartment – only Govinda Angulo has let home.
From left to right) Jagadisa, Govinda, Narayana, producer Izabella Tzenkova, associate producer Megan Delaney, the siblings’ mother Susanne Angulo, director Crystal Moselle, Bhagavan, Jagadisa, and Mukunda attend The Wolfpack premiere during the 2015 Sundance Film Festival at the Temple Theate in Park City, Utah
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