Director: Crystal Moselle
I mostly went to the premiere of this because the indie theatre is close to my house and it was super hot out. Sometimes you got to hunt down some air conditioner.
I saw the trailer for this last week and really wanted to know more about this crazy story. I think that’s where the doc falls short for me, the whole thing just felt like an extended trailer. Was the father abusive or just super overprotective? How do they get money? What’s the deal with the sister? There is a lot more to this story about I hope that eventually gets told.
Besides that I really did like it, and I don’t think lack of details matter because that’s not what it’s about. I would say it’s more about people overcoming a particularity strange circumstance. In this case with the help of family and movies.
The movie reenactments are fun and shows how the boys kept their sanity locked away in a small apartment for 14 years, only being let out a few times a year. I think the real turning point in the film for me was when they started to go outside. They are fish out of water in their own city. One of the most important things that helps/hurts the film is Crystal never offers her own opinion and lets the family tell the story. It does however offer an interesting look into a strange world. I hope all the boys land on their feet somewhere in the world.
It’s not a perfect doc but I know it was effective because we ended to silence and a single “wow” from the back.