Marwencol: An alternative world for brain-damaged man
At this year’s Seattle International Film Festival, Jeff Maimberg’s “Marwencol” is surely one of the most original films to win SIFF’s Grand Jury Prize for best documentary.
Simultaneously hypnotic and unnerving, it asks some rather uncomfortable questions about the nature of art and the potential and limits of self-healing.
Marwencol trailer (English)
Nearly beaten to death by five men, 38-year-old Mark Hogancamp suffered such severe brain damage that he landed in a coma for nine days. He lost much of his memory and motor skills, and over a period of several months, he constructed a detailed backyard universe he called Marwencol.
The movie gradually focuses on what happened when these striking photos of Hogancamp’s creation went on exhibit in Greenwich Village and became “everybody’s therapy.” Maimberg does an especially sharp job of capturing Hogancamp’s naive embrace of a New York gallery scene that’s as foreign as Marwencol.