A very good friend of mine, high school classmate and Indiana native Matt Radecki is one of the producers of this fantastic documentary. It is playing one day only in indiana, this weekend at the Indianapolis Museum of Art:
Indianapolis, IN - Indianapolis Museum of Art - December 9th only
I went to the screening in LA last week. It was a sold-out show and featured a Q&A with the filmmakers as well as a live introduction by Henry Rollins.
If you enjoy the sort of stories you might hear on This American Life, you'll certainly like this movie.
Here's the film's poster, the trailer and a review of the film from the LA Times.
Movie review: 'Marwencol'
By Kevin Thomas
On April 8, 2000, Mark Hogancamp was so badly beaten outside a bar in Kingston, N.Y., that his own mother did not recognize him. After nine days in a coma and 40 days in the hospital, his Medicaid coverage ran out, leaving him to use only his own resources to recover his identity.
Living alone in a rural area, Hogancamp, a sweet-natured, articulate man, created a fantasy land called Marwencol, a war-torn World War II-era town in Belgium that he built in miniature and populated with dolls. Marwencol is the scene of fierce fighting but it contains an oasis, a bar run by Hogancamp, where enemies lay down arms and enjoy themselves, a raft of attractive barmaids serving them libations. Every action that takes place in the town is staged -- and photographed -- with loving attention to detail, and it's the discovery of those photos that gives Hogancamp a means to return to the real world.
Watching "Marwencol," Jeff Malmberg's probing documentary on Hogancamp's undertaking, is an exhilarating, utterly unique experience. The film isn't standard man-triumphing-over-adversity-fare, though that is the essence of the story. It is rather a celebration of the transformative power of art in coping with so many of the challenges people face -- healthcare problems, post-traumatic disorders, alternative lifestyles.
When Hogancamp's work is discovered and becomes the subject of a Manhattan gallery exhibition, complete with Marwencol on display, a question surfaces about whether Hogancamp will want to start regarding his work as art rather than therapy -- or whether he can find a way to reconcile the two.
The film offers a tentative answer to that central query, prompting Hogancamp to reveal what provoked his attack, a revelation that adds an entirely unexpected dimension to "Marwencol." One thing seems certain: Regardless of whatever path Hogancamp takes from now on, his life is unlikely to remain unchanged.