One man, small world, big attention


Photo courtesy of www.marwencol.com

If you haven’t investigated alternative therapy, let Mark Hogencamp’s attempt to self-heal in the town of Marwencol be an example of it.

The Salt Lake City Film Center will be screening Hogencamp’s story in the award-winning documentary Marwencol for one night only on Jan. 11.

In April 2000, Mark Hogencamp’s outlook on life was almost entirely non-existent. After a traumatic attack in his bar, Mark spent over forty days in the hospital – nine were spent in a coma. After being released from the hospital, Hogencamp’s need for therapy and inability to afford it lead to the creation of Marwencol, a miniature, fictionalized World War II era town, in his backyard.

Hogencamp tells the stories though the dolls that inhabit this newly created town. At the same time, he uses the photography of the stories and the creation of it as therapy, both physical and other kinds. What may initially seem like an odd reaction to trauma actually helped him with hand-eye coordination and “the psychic wounds of the attack,” according to Marwencol’s official website.

“Mark is a living lesson in not judging people so quickly and his story touches on issues that a lot of people deal with today in silence. … alternative lifestyles, healthcare problems, post-traumatic stress,” documentary director Jeff Malmberg said in a statement about the film.

As Malmerg depicts Hogencamp’s story alongside those of his characters, his creations become more in-demand from art galleries. Soon he is offered the opportunity to show his work in an exhibit, but is conflicted between the world he has created and what the rest of the world wants to see.

“[Hogencamp’s work] has an honesty that art from pure cleverness just doesn’t,” Malmberg said in his statement.  “And that makes it beautiful, but at the same time, it makes it very private.”

The Documentary begins at 7:00 p.m. at the Main Library. For information about the screening, visit www.SLCFilmCenter.org or call 801-746-7000. For more information about the documentary, visit www.Marwencol.com

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