DVD Review: Marwencol

His world was stolen, so he made a world of his own.


I'm often interested by documentaries, but it's rare that I'm actually moved by one. I tend to look at docs as I would at something at work. Or for when I was in school, I'd look at it as my studies. As something new that I could learn. Marwencol felt different. This isn't a subject like a flawed school system or a case gone to trial. This was a look inside the world that Mark Hogancamp created.

Mark Hogancamp was beaten by 5 men outside of a bar one night. Beaten so badly that he was left in a coma and awoke with permanent brain damage. Unable to afford proper health care, he builds a model WWII era town in his back yard. He populates it with dolls based off of his friends, family, and acquaintances. This is therapy for him. It helps him regain his coordination, his concentration,  and it helps him vent his anger. He captures his world in pictures, and eventually is discovered. His photos are published, and now his therapy is being called "art."

It's heart breaking what happened to Mark Hogancamp. The reason for the beating is strategically placed towards the end of the film. He keeps his sense of humor throughout, and the ending was perfect. Absolutely perfect. It's hard to describe why Marwencol feels so different than any documentary I've seen, perhaps you'll have to see it for yourself.

Recommended: Yes

Grade: A

Memorable Quote: "Look mom, you're tending bar!" - Mark Hogancamp

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