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Archive for May 13th, 2015

wolfpack-1

 © 2015 by James Clark

      Crystal Moselle has titled her documentary film, from 2015, The Wolfpack. Her work is ambitious and complex; but her choosing that title provides, I think, a definite sense of direction.

The central feature consists of six brothers marooned in a Lower East Side public housing unit, describing what it is like to be imprisoned there well into late adolescence, due to a father having come from rural Peru whose religious precepts leave him aghast at the course of contemporary urban life and consequently putting into effect an almost absolute wall between his children and an apparently devilish and deadly New York, New York. Oscar, the rigidly protective head of the family, is prone to call himself God, and to declaring, “My power is influencing everybody.” His wife, Susanne, an American woman who met her husband-to-be on the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu where he was a guide, argues that “a lot of socialization [in her native land] is not positive socialization.” Ranged against that draconian authority the boys emanate a sloe-eyed, very long-haired (in line with their father’s Hare Krishna beliefs) gentleness and playfulness centering upon their being in thrall to the 5000 DVD movies the selectively old-fashioned father, whose hair is not long and who felt—erroneously—that he had what it takes to take Gotham by storm with his rock and roll musicianship, has purchased, in a binge of divine illogic. We could only too easily fall for everything they do as a breath of fresh air. But the term Wolfpack seems to caution us to look very carefully at what is coming down here. (more…)

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