Like most things I watch on Netflix, I wasn’t really sure what I was in store for when I started watching The Wolfpack on Netflix this evening. The documentary focuses on a family of seven children who spent the majority of their lives inside an apartment in New York City. Their only outlet to the world outside was movies.
I love movies and certainly learned about society and life from watching TV, but it was hard for me to imagine knowing nothing about the outside world other than what is captured in the movies. Watching these boys as they explore the city that had always been outside their door was exciting.
I smiled most of the movie, even the parts that were probably meant to be sad. I think it’s hard for people who didn’t grow up with a lot of siblings to understand the sub-culture that forms within a large household. It’s particularly strong when the family is different in some way, even just slightly.
They may never know a closer feeling than the bond they shared with each-other. If they know it yet or not, their curse and cage actually created a foundation for the boys to truly be who they wanted without judgement. I wish the film had focused a bit more on the individual brothers though. I think it would have been interesting to hear more from them individually instead of their sound bites used to tell the producers narrative.
One of the brothers seemed to desire nothing more than to be part of society, while another seemed to want nothing more than to retreat somewhere quiet. The daughter in particular seemed to be forgotten though. I suppose maybe she was just shy, or maybe she was further isolated by not being included in her brother’s society. It’s hard to say.
The film did make me reflect on my own childhood, not that I grew up in anything close to what these kids experienced. I know the bad, weird, and painful events existed, but my mind has stripped the fact away from the emotion. Instead, I can only remember the positive emotions from childhood. Maybe it goes back to the whole dreaming thing, but I have a feeling these kids will be able to look back at some point and remember their childhood as different, but good in the way many people do.
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