Saturday, April 13, 2013
Marwencol is such an incredible documentary. It's the story of Mark Hogancamp, a 40-something-ish regular dude who was randomly attacked outside of a bar by a gang of guys. They beat him up so bad that he was in a coma and almost died. When he recovered, he not only had to re-learn how to do everything, his memory was completely gone. So he had no idea who he was and what he had done in his life before the attack. It's really sad and strange to see this gentle lost soul try to figure out who he was by going through old photos and journals. It turns out he was a pretty decent illustrator. But that skill is now gone. What Mark has not lost is his imagination. And it's through his imagination that he creates Marwencol, a doll world in which all of the action figures represent people in his life. It evolves into a kind of therapy that helps him process and heal. Mark also embarks on a vast and prolific photodocumentary of Marwencol, but he does all of this for his own enjoyment and personal satisfaction. He's not trying to make art, but his photographs are eventually discovered. I found Mark's story so sad, but fascinating and uplifting. His obsession with the details of Marwencol is impressive and also kind of hilarious. If you are inspired by Mark, you can go to the Marwencol site and donate to the local craft store where he buys all of his supplies.