Inside 'The Wolfpack,' Six Brothers Who Grew Up Locked in an NYC Apartment

Documentary follows the lives of the Angulo family and their unusual childhood.

— -- Tucked away in Manhattan’s Lower East Side, a family with seven children lived together in a small apartment for more than a decade, but almost no one knew they existed.

The Angulo family -- made up of father Oscar, his wife, Susanne, and their seven children -- lived on the 16th floor of a public housing development. But their neighbors never saw them.

“I’ve been here all my life, I don’t know them,” neighbor George Lauriano said. “They never came out to play… very unusual… we didn’t know they existed.”

Susanne’s family, who hadn’t heard from her in years, didn’t know whether she was dead or alive, or had seven children.

“Many times, I thought, ‘Wait a minute, let me roll back … what are we doing here?’ Susanne Angulo told “20/20.” “Sometimes in life, we find ourselves being in situations and doing things, and how one thing leads to another and suddenly, ‘Whoa, how did I get here?’”

The children -- one daughter and six sons -- were raised in four small rooms, homeschooled by their mother and trapped by their father, who allowed them to leave the apartment they shared only for rare, closely supervised outings.

“We weren’t allowed out, outside of the home,” son Narayana Angulo, 22, told “20/20” in an interview. “We were forbidden to communicate with anybody unless we were told otherwise.”

They had one lifeline that connected them to the outside world: Their father’s movie collection, with more than 2,000 films.

“I think, in a way, movies, they shaped us who we are,” said Govinda Angulo, also 22 and Narayana’s twin.

Until one day in April 2010, when one son, Mukunda, the third youngest who was 15 at the time, found the courage to break free.

The story of the Angulo family was revealed through a new documentary, “The Wolfpack,” which opens in theaters nationwide June 19. The film focuses on the six brothers -- Bhagavan, Govinda, Narayana, Mukunda, Krisna (now Glenn) and Jagadesh (now Eddie) -- then ages 11 to 18, and their unusual upbringing, along with their passion for movies, so intense that they copied down entire scripts, constructed costumes and props, memorized lines and acted out entire scenes.

For years, the family didn’t have any outside friends until the brothers met director Crystal Moselle, who befriended them after she saw the boys walking down the streets of the East Village with their waist-long dark hair and sunglasses. It was right after they had started leaving the apartment.

“There was something that was so open about them that you don’t see every day when you’re in New York City,” Moselle told “20/20.”

Life has changed dramatically for the Angulo family since the documentary appeared at the Sundance Film Festival in January. The brothers have now flown on airplanes, traveling all over the country, and they have been to movie theaters, restaurants and clubs.

But they allowed “20/20” to come to that Lower East Side apartment with them, inside the only world they had known the majority of their lives. Through “20/20,” they also met their mother’s family in Michigan for the first time.