Marwencol: A Small Film Of Incredible Proportions

September 30th, 2011

I recently happened upon a movie on Netflix (god bless) that absolutely blew my mind about the internal worlds one may conjure in reaction to personal tragedy or struggle. The documentary, Marwencol, climbs deep inside the inner workings of a mind that has been greatly injured, both physically and psychically, the result of which is a continuous parsing down of a man’s world in his attempt to create an element of control, thus landing into a Jungian dreamscape full of drama and intrigue.

After a life-altering beating, a man named Mark Hogancamp began to create Marwencol, a fictitious Belgian village circa WWII, in great detail. The village is created on 1/6 scale and features GI Joe and Barbie dolls that are re-dressed and repainted to into military uniforms, war torn scars, and punk, doe-eyed vixens whose ensembles are, ironically, Women’s Wear Daily-worthy. The roads of Marwencol are strewn with mud-flapped jeeps, a quaint church, European street signs, and a bar called The Catfight Club, where the gal dolls fight over a doll which is Hogancamp’s alter ego, Captain Hogie.

Hogancamp’s brilliantly staged photographs of his characters seem to be images suspended in time and in an alternate universe, offering to change history, both of the second World War and his own personal battlefields. He manages to convey violence, love, lust, and the machismo that he probably lost to that infamous brawl a few years back.

I believe many of us are manacled by burdens of the soul, some of which are swept under the rug, and some of which, in the beauty and complexity of tragedy, offer a rebirth of perspective and inspiration.

I give this film 5 out of 5 Tootzypops!

Take a look at some of the emotional loads you may be carrying. Perhaps one of these seeming liabilities can blossom into one of the most profound efforts of your life, and be a great source of creativity and passion.




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Our Friends Say
  1. amp says:

    Beautiful post, Meike – and so relevant as these challenging economic and political times beat us all down!

  2. amp says:

    Now how about some “tootzypop” icons for tat rating system? ;-)

    • Meike says:

      Thanks Amp, I got plenty to contribute about challenging times! I’m just getting started.

      As for Tootzypop icons, bring them on!

  3. peter grant says:

    I also love this film, Meike.

    So cool to see your recommendation here, as I worked with the director of the film, Jeff Malmberg, to create the title treatment and poster for the film!

    Jeff’s a really sweet guy. His sensitivity (and friendship) to Mark is what makes this film sing.
    And, as the designer, I couldn’t hope for a better client.

    I agree that everyone should try to see this film!

  4. Mckenna says:

    Wow, Meike! This sounds incredible. Will rent ASAP.

  5. Mary McBride says:

    I taped that movie a couple of years ago when it was on PBS, I think. Love it, love it. What a fascinating journey.


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