This fascinating documentary follows Mark Hogancamp and his intricate creation of a WWII-era town with dolls, homemade sets, and elaborate setups. He was beaten up and lost his long-term memory, and he uses his town as a sort of art therapy. The people in the town and its goings-on are based on himself and the people he knows, and the stories come from his experiences, desires, and feelings. He photographs the story lines as they progress with amazing dedication.
The town is part of the story, but what is really incredible is watching someone who has made a complete break from himself. He has little memory of his life before the beating; he looks back on his previous life in journals, pictures, and videos with the detachment of a stranger. The parts he doesn't like, he throws away (being an angry alcoholic), and he keeps what he wants (the artistic energy).
Marwencol plays again Mon May 31, Harvard Exit, 6:15 pm.