http://cdn.itvs.org/marwencol-background.jpg
  • Mark Hogancamp devised a peculiar brand of therapy to recover from a savage beating.

    Mark Hogancamp devised a peculiar brand of therapy to recover from a savage beating.

    http://cdn.itvs.org/marwencol-trailer.jpgmp4:marwencol-trailer-1024.mov
  • Two thumbs up from the star of the show!

    Two thumbs up from the star of the show!

    http://cdn.itvs.org/marwencol-extra.jpgmp4:marwencol-extra-1024.mov
  • Captain Hogancamp marries Anna in front of the hanging SS who had ravaged Marwencol.

    Captain Hogancamp marries Anna in front of the hanging SS who had ravaged Marwencol.

    http://cdn.itvs.org/marwencol-01.jpg
  • Mark Hogancamp and his alter ego, "Hogie"

    Mark Hogancamp and his alter ego, "Hogie"

    http://cdn.itvs.org/marwencol-02.jpg
  • Mark Hogancamp at his White Columns art show in New York City

    Mark Hogancamp at his White Columns art show in New York City

    http://cdn.itvs.org/marwencol-03.jpg
  • Mark Hogancamp setting up a scene in Marwencol

    Mark Hogancamp setting up a scene in Marwencol

    http://cdn.itvs.org/marwencol-04.jpg
  • Mark Hogancamp at work in Marwencol

    Mark Hogancamp at work in Marwencol

    http://cdn.itvs.org/marwencol-05.jpg
  • Mark Hogancamp putting wear on the jeep's tires

    Mark Hogancamp putting wear on the jeep's tires

    http://cdn.itvs.org/marwencol-06.jpg
  • Director Jeff Malmberg and Mark Hogancamp with their Marwencol alter egos

    Director Jeff Malmberg and Mark Hogancamp with their Marwencol alter egos

    http://cdn.itvs.org/marwencol-07.jpg

The Film

On April 8, 2000, Mark Hogancamp was attacked outside a bar in Kingston, New York, by five men who beat him literally to death. Revived by paramedics, Mark had suffered brain damage and physical injuries so severe even his own mother didn't recognize him. After nine days in a coma and 40 days in the hospital, Mark was discharged with little memory of his previous life.

Unable to afford therapy, Mark decided to create his own. In his backyard, he built Marwencol, a 1/6th scale World War II-era town that he populated with dolls representing his friends, family, and even his attackers. He used the small dolls and props to redevelop his hand-eye coordination, while he dealt with the psychological trauma from his attack through the town's many battles and dramas.

Mark started documenting his miniature dramas with his camera. Through Mark's lens, these were no longer dolls — they were living, breathing characters in an epic WWII story full of violence, jealousy, longing, and revenge. And he (or rather his alter ego, Captain Hogancamp) was the hero.

When Mark's stunningly realistic photos are discovered and published in an art magazine, his homemade therapy suddenly becomes "art," forcing Mark to make a choice between the safety of his fictional town and the real world he's avoided since his attack.

Shot over the course of four years, Jeff Malmberg's documentary intertwines the dual realities of Mark Hogancamp to tell the whole story of Marwencol — a surprising tale of love, secrets, pain, and adventure.

The Filmmaker

  1. Jeff MalmbergProducer/Director