Understanding Life Through Make Believe
Winner of numerous festival awards, Jeff Malmberg’s documentary Marwencol tells the story of Mark Hogancamp, the victim of a brutal bar beating that erased much of his memory and motor function. Faced with the expiration of his state-supported therapy, Hogancamp fashioned his own strategy for managing his world after the attack: he created Marwencol, a remarkable 1/6 scale World War II-era town that he built in his backyard in Kingston, NY, and populated with figures representing everyone from his intimates to his attackers. When his photographs of Marwencol caught the attention of the NY art world, Hogancamp was faced with the decision of whether or not to venture towards the real world and leave behind the safety of his liminal existence in and around Marwencol.
Malmberg’s film has been called ‘enthralling,’ ‘inspirational,’ and ‘deeply strange.’