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The Wolfpack

Being a mother never ends. Hard to believe, but yesterday, both my children lost their phones simultaneously, so there’s been no way to get through to either of them, and Sam was very sick. Anna let me know through Facebook IM that her phone was found and she’s going to pick it up today. I’ve just received a call telling me that Sam’s also has been found and where it is, but I have no way to let him know because he’s at home sick with no phone and his sister doesn’t have one either.

Okay Mama, they’re grown ups. Back off.


Met Ken yesterday for a fabulous burger with sweet potato fries at Pauper’s Pub – I rarely eat like that but God, a burger once in a while is good! Don’t listen, Paul – and then across the street to Hot Docs to see “The Wolfpack,” the story of six brothers (and their handicapped sister) who are kept prisoner in a small Lower East Side apartment throughout their childhood by their paranoid father. They find freedom by watching countless movies, typing out the scripts for themselves and enacting them, with costumes and lines, in meticulous detail. A tribute to the saving power of fantasy in a child’s life, which was partially the point of my memoir.

They are remarkable, haunting young men, sensitive, candid, beautiful with their waist-length black hair. Once the eldest takes his first rebellious steps outside the apartment at the age of 15 (terrified of being seen, he wears a homemade mask, which leads him to be arrested), followed eventually by the others, it’s profoundly moving to watch this band of six tall, slender, exotic brothers begin to move into the world, discovering beaches and water and trees – and even going to their first real movie theatre.

This was taken after some of them cut their hair. The thought of all that hair and all that testosterone trapped in a small apartment – it’s incredible they’re still sane, particularly their mother.

Of course, the filming of the documentary itself was part of their liberation, and I wish the filmmaker had explored that fact with more honesty. The story I’ve read is that she saw them on the street, was fascinated, made friends and was invited to their home and realized here was a movie. It’s amazing they all let her so completely into their lives – even their sweet, befuddled mother and their crazy, sad dad.

It’s a very good documentary, and yes, uplifting. Highly recommended.

Now back to worrying about my own little wolfpack across town.



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About Beth

I began keeping a journal at the age of nine. Nearly fifty years later, I started this online journal, sharing reflections, reviews, updates, and the occasional secret.

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