Film on the Fringe: 10 Intriguing Outsider Art Documentaries

 

Marwencol

Jeff Malmberg’s documentary chronicles the life and photography of Mark Hogancamp, a man who fell victim to a vicious attack that robbed him of his memory. In order to cope with the strange, new world Mark woke up to after a nine-day coma, he created a 1/6th-scale World War II-era town named Marwencol in his backyard. There, he takes photographs of an army of dolls that resembled the fragments of his broken, former life. The earnest, fairly obsessive, and sometimes highly emotional photos of Marwencol’s characters living out the dramas of Mark’s intricate storylines — some directly related to his relationships with others, including his five attackers — eventually become the subject of a New York City exhibition, which the former hard-drinking, hard-living Navy man struggles with as the anxiety of the real world starts to creep into his make-believe universe.