posted by Jason Kottke Mar 15, 2010

Marwencol is the name of fictional town built by Mark Hogancamp in his backyard in an attempt to cope with a near-fatal beating. Jeff Malmberg has made a documentary of the same name about Hogancamp's fantasy world.

After being beaten into a brain-damaging coma by five men outside a bar, Mark built a 1/6th scale World War II-era town in his backyard. Mark populated the town he dubbed "Marwencol" with dolls representing his friends and family and created life-like photographs detailing the town's many relationships and dramas. Playing in the town and photographing the action helped Mark to recover his hand-eye coordination and deal with the psychic wounds from the attack. Through his homemade therapy, Mark was able to begin the long journey back into the "real world", both physically and emotionally — something he continues to struggle with today.

Some bits of the film are available on Vimeo. (thx, greg)