IMDb > Marwencol (2010)
Marwencol
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Marwencol (2010) More at IMDbPro »

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Marwencol -- After a vicious attack leaves him brain-damaged and broke, Mark Hogancamp seeks recovery in "Marwencol", a 1/6th scale World War II-era town he creates in his backyard.

Overview

User Rating:
7.6/10   2,072 votes »
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View company contact information for Marwencol on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
8 October 2010 (USA) See more »
Tagline:
When his world was stolen, Mark Hogancamp made a world of his own.
Plot:
After a vicious attacks leaves him brain-damaged and broke, Mark Hogancamp seeks recovery in "Marwencol", a 1/6th scale World War II-era town he creates in his backyard. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
15 wins & 4 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
A tender mix of art and therapy See more (15 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order)
Mark Hogancamp ... Himself
Emmanuel Nneji ... Himself
Edda Hogancamp ... Herself
Tom Neubauer ... Himself
Julie Swarthout ... Herself
Janet Wikane ... Herself
Mark Wikane ... Himself
Bert ... Himself
Lisa Bruck ... Herrself
Colleen Vargo ... Herself
David Naugle ... Himself
Ruthie Hotaling ... Herself
Tod Lippy ... Himself
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Directed by
Jeff Malmberg 
 
Produced by
Jeff Malmberg .... producer
Tom Putnam .... producer
Matt Radecki .... producer
Chris Shellen .... producer
Kevin W. Walsh .... producer (as Kevin Walsh)
 
Original Music by
Ash Black Bufflo 
 
Cinematography by
Jeff Malmberg 
Tom Putnam 
Matt Radecki 
Kevin W. Walsh  (as Kevin Walsh)
 
Film Editing by
Jeff Malmberg 
 
Sound Department
Pete Kneser .... sound designer
Pete Kneser .... sound mixer
 
Camera and Electrical Department
David Naugle .... additional photography
 
Editorial Department
Kaz Brecher .... cut watcher
Brian Hutchings .... colorist
Edwina Lantigua .... cut watcher
Chris Mortensen .... cut watcher
Kate O'Brien-Clarke .... cut watcher
Dan O'Connor .... cut watcher
Lori Putnam .... cut watcher
Amy Himsel Radecki .... cut watcher
Mark Rowland .... cut watcher
Teri Shellen .... cut watcher
Naomi Spiro .... cut watcher
 
Music Department
Annie Lin .... music supervisor
 
Other crew
Peter Grant .... title designer
Andrew Herwitz .... world film sales: The Film Sales Company
Lesley Langs .... equipment loans
Robert Williams .... equipment loans
 
Thanks
Tod Lippy .... very special thanks
 

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies
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Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
USA:83 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Filming Locations:
Company:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
For the film's premiere Mark prepared a story line including the delivery by courier of a 1/6th scale press kit to the village of Marwencol.See more »
Quotes:
Mark Hogancamp:I was like an elephant left in charge of the peanuts.See more »
Movie Connections:

FAQ

What is the meaning of the title "Marwencol" ?
See more »
7 out of 12 people found the following review useful.
A tender mix of art and therapy, 13 April 2011
Author: The_Film_Cricket from Birmingham, Alabama

The very first thing that one notices about Mark Hogancamp are his eyes. They are small and look a little tired, as if he just woke up from a long sleep. There is no distance in his eyes, they don't seem to contain memories. Rather, they seem very much focused on the present. When he speaks he has a sweet-natured voice, solemn and intelligent. There is no regret in his demeanor despite his age which I range at about somewhere in his mid-40s.

The manner in which Hogancamp carries himself is specifically rooted in an incident that changed his life. On April 8, 2000, he was leaving a bar when he was attacked by five men who beat him almost to death. The men were arrested and Hogancamp spent nine days in a coma and forty days in the hospital. When he woke up, he had severe brain damage and most of his memory was gone. Years after his incident, his brain is still a little mushy. He works a quiet job, oddly enough, at The Anchorage, the same bar where he was attacked. Not having memories of the attack, he has no anxieties about working there.

The documentary 'Marwencol' settles firmly on Hogancamp who says that due to his injury he has no real memories, only flashes of memory, like snapshots. He knows of his past because of diary entries written before the attack. He reads them, but doesn't recognize the person who wrote them. He knows that that man was an alcoholic, who was bitter and angry, but he also knows that he had an artistic talent. He shows us sketches that are not out of the ordinary. After the attack, he could no longer draw because his hands shook too much.

He could not afford therapy, so he made his own. In his back yard, he created the tiny, fictional town of Marwencol, a Belgian World War II-era town made of dolls and small buildings. His dolls represent people in his life. His own alter-ego is a hero-type that has a head the looks a little like Harrison Ford. His mother's alter-ego has a head that came from a Pussy Galore doll. His former girlfriend is represented by a Barbie doll. He collects his dolls and studies them, trying to see who they could represent. When he puts his dolls inside the model, they don't just stand stiffly, but they seem modulated as if frozen in a moment of action.

Marwencol becomes Hogancamp's entire world. He creates each character down to the most finite detail, including a backstory. He tells us the stories of what goes on in Marwencol, not as play acting but as if it is really happening. He tells about how his alter-ego wandered into the town and settled down to open a bar. No one is allowed to fight in Marwencol, the only fights are staged catfights inside the bar. Then the Nazi's showed up and he corralled all of the citizenry into his bar while the Nazis kicked down doors trying to find out where it was. His employer Rose is stunned to find that her alter-ego was killed by the Nazis because she wouldn't talk.

What becomes apparent as he tells the story is that Hogancamp isn't just playing with dolls, he is finding a manner in which to deal with his trauma. His alter-ego in Marwencol, is stripped and beaten by the SS just as he was in real life. He cannot remember the attack, he just feeds off of information from his assailant's testimony and from what he has been told. The play acting is a manner in which he can piece that moment together and deal with it on a realistic level.

It is hard to really describe what makes 'Marwencol' really special. It is a quiet, tenderly beautiful story of a man who stepped back from the edge of a near-fatal incident and creates his own therapy through art. The photos he takes of his tiny town are crisp and beautiful (I have featured some of them below). The characters seem alive even though his subjects are immobile. He modulates every single tiny detail perfectly. It is a futile exercise in trying to understand the effect this movie has on you once you let yourself be carried away by Hogancamp's imagination. He takes us so solidly and so convincingly into his tiny man-made world that, after a while, we forget that we are simply looking at dolls. It sounds strange, but I felt I got to know the people Marwencol so well that when one of the women in town left her boyfriend for another man, I felt a little sad.

***1/2 (of four)

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Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Marwencol (2010)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Seriously one of the best documentaries in years me-nyc
Please Spoil This ? jgbook2007
How did the bar fight start? ssslawman
Outstanding! LadyJewell
I love this ending! c_glauner
does anybody know mark before the attack?? joeyboots3000
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