Last night I was finally able to see Marwencol. The documentary about Mark Hogancamp, an artist recovering from a traumatic brain injury by building a world for him and his friends. The world is 1/6th scale and set in the fictional WW2 city of Marwencol. Marwencol is a sanctuary for soldiers of all sides so long as you behave, here Mark runs a bar and falls in love with Anna, the most beautiful doll he has.  Mark takes amazing photos of this world and creates a compelling narrative that facilitates his need to be creative and as the movie points out, becomes his therapeutic output for the traumatic attack that put him into a coma and destroyed much of his memory.

I was particularly inspired by Mark’s photography skill. Seemingly with no training he was able to do amazing shots. I paid particular attention to the details he constantly considered. Tilting a characters head just right, the pains he went to to make sure items were distressed enough to look right in the scene.

I have been waiting to see this movie for a long time now. I have had the Marwencol book but I knew going in that was only a part of the story. The work is great enough to stand on its own, but knowing the amazing details on who Mark is and where these characters come from and what it means to him make the images even more real. Try to find Marwencol in the theater if you get a chance. for more information

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