Brothers locked in apartment for 14 years tell their story

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Brothers Locked in Apartment for 14 Years Tell Their Story


They're called the Wolfpack, the six Angulo brothers whose father locked them in a New York City apartment for 14 years. After becoming the subject of an award-winning documentary, they're finally speaking out.

"He would say to us: 'There's good people and there's bad people. I'd like to keep you all here and protected,'" Govinda Angulo told ABC.

Their father held the only key to their East Village apartment, which they were rarely allowed to leave. The brothers told ABC they were homeschooled by their mother, who was also locked in the apartment. Movies took on a special role, as they were the brothers' only glimpse of the outside world.

"The movies taught us sort of how to speak to one another," Mukunda Angulo told ABC.

The brothers say they've seen over 10,000 movies, highlighting films such as "The Dark Knight," "Reservoir Dogs" and "Pulp Fiction."

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Brothers locked in apartment for 14 years tell their story
In this Monday, June 15, 2015 photo, Govinda Angulo, from left, Narayana Angulo, Mukunda Angulo and Bhagavan Angulo, subjects of the documentary feature film "The Wolfpack," visit Universal Studios Hollywood in Universal City, Calif. Kept in near isolation in a tiny apartment on the lower east side of Manhattan, the six movie-obsessed Angulo brothers take their passion to the epicenter of the filmmaking industry in advance of the Los Angeles release of “The Wolfpack,” a documentary about their unique lives and their penchant for recreating iconic scenes from films like “Pulp Fiction,” “Reservoir Dogs,” and “The Dark Knight Rises.” The Associated Press joined the brothers recently for an unforgettable afternoon at Universal Studios - their first amusement park and studio lot experience ever. (Photo by Dan Steinberg/Invision/AP)
In this Monday, June 15, 2015 photo, Govinda Angulo, left, and Narayana Angulo, subjects of the documentary feature film "The Wolfpack," visit Universal Studios Hollywood in Universal City, Calif. The movie opened in U.S. theaters on June 12. (Photo by Dan Steinberg/Invision/AP)
In this Monday, June 15, 2015 photo, Govinda Angulo, from left, Narayana Angulo, Mukunda Angulo and Bhagavan Angulo, subjects of the documentary feature film "The Wolfpack," visit Universal Studios Hollywood in Universal City, Calif. Kept in near isolation in a tiny apartment on the lower east side of Manhattan, the six movie-obsessed Angulo brothers take their passion to the epicenter of the filmmaking industry in advance of the Los Angeles release of “The Wolfpack,” a documentary about their unique lives and their penchant for recreating iconic scenes from films like “Pulp Fiction,” “Reservoir Dogs,” and “The Dark Knight Rises.” The Associated Press joined the brothers recently for an unforgettable afternoon at Universal Studios - their first amusement park and studio lot experience ever. (Photo by Dan Steinberg/Invision/AP)
Mukunda Angulo, from left, Jagadisa Angulo, Marky Ramone, Govind Angulo, Bhagavan Angulo and Narayana Angulo attend "The Wolfpack" premiere at the Sunshine Landmark on Tuesday, June 9, 2015, in New York. (Photo by Andy Kropa/Invision/AP)
FILE - In this Jan. 23, 2015 file photo, director, Crystal Moselle, poses for a portrait with the cast, Govinda Angulo, from left, Bhagavan Angulo, Mukunda Angulo, Eddie Angulo (Krsna Angulo), Narayana Angulo, center, and Glenn Angulo ( Jagadisa Angulo), right, of "The Wolfpack", at the Eddie Bauer Adventure House during the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. The movie opened in U.S. theaters on June 12. (Photo by Victoria Will/Invision/AP, File)
Mukunda Angulo, from left, Jagadisa Angulo, Marky Ramone, Govind Angulo, Bhagavan Angulo and Narayana Angulo attend "The Wolfpack" premiere at the Sunshine Landmark on Tuesday, June 9, 2015, in New York. (Photo by Andy Kropa/Invision/AP)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - JUNE 10: (L-R) Comedians Neal Brennan, Jiffy Wild, Josh Wolf, Heather McDonald, host Rob Riggle, comedians Loni Love, Colleen Ballinger aka Miranda Sings and guests attend Shoebox's 29th Birthday Celebration hosted by Rob Riggle at The Improv on June 10, 2015 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Michael Kovac/Getty Images for Hallmark Shoebox)
In this Monday, June 15, 2015 photo, Govinda Angulo, from left, Bhagavan Angulo, and Narayana Angulo, subjects of the documentary feature film "The Wolfpack," pose for a photo at Universal Studios Hollywood in Universal City, Calif. Kept in near isolation in a tiny apartment on the lower east side of Manhattan, the six movie-obsessed Angulo brothers take their passion to the epicenter of the filmmaking industry in advance of the Los Angeles release of “The Wolfpack,” a documentary about their unique lives and their penchant for recreating iconic scenes from films like “Pulp Fiction,” “Reservoir Dogs,” and “The Dark Knight Rises.” The Associated Press joined the brothers recently for an unforgettable afternoon at Universal Studios - their first amusement park and studio lot experience ever. (Photo by Dan Steinberg/Invision/AP)
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Their love of films led them to start re-enacting them word for word, complete with detailed costumes and plots, but all adapted to work in the apartment's setting. They'd even perform them like plays, in one long take.

One of the brothers, Mukunda, finally got the courage to break out of the apartment. His brothers soon followed suit, even leading their mother to push the balance of power more.

A chance encounter with filmmaker Crystal Moselle changed their lives. She was struck by their appearance and the fact she'd never seen them in the neighborhood. One of the brothers told Rolling Stone: "We didn't tell her much at first. We just said, 'We love movies — what do you do?'"

The brothers became the subject of Moselle's first documentary, and five years later, it's received the grand jury prize at Sundance.

A major theme of the piece is how the brothers took care of one another. A reviewer for the Boston Globe says, "The movie only looks like a coming-of-age freak show from the outside; in reality, it's unexpected proof that flowers can grow even in a prison."

Their father hasn't been charged with any crime, as the law does not require children be let out of the home. The family still lives together, but the brothers do not speak to him. Mukunda told The New York Times, "I want to move forward, and I don't want to move back."

At the same time, though, members of the family called their relationship with their father "evolving," and it seems they are working to forgive. The documentary opens nationwide Friday.

Watch the trailer below:

The Wolfpack - Trailer No. 1

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