It Takes A Village

The human mind possesses the ability to rebuild and reinvent, to push beyond the capabilities that even many neuroscientists might imagine. Such was certainly the case for Mark Hogancamp, a man beaten — literally — to death by five men outside a bar in April 2000. Paramedics revived Hogancamp, but after receiving such a savage beating, he remained in a coma for nine days and experienced severe brain damage. Finally, after 40 days in the hospital, Hogancamp was released. But what awaited him was a strange and fuzzy world that barely resembled his former life. Without the financial resources to pay for therapy, Hogancamp found his own restorative outlet by creating Marwencol, a one-sixth-scale 1940s town. Hogancamp filled the streets and businesses of tiny Marwencol with dolls representing his family, his friends — and even the men who beat him so terribly that night in April. Enacting the town's dramas allowed Hogancamp to regain hand-eye coordination and, equally important, to work through his personal pain. Jeff Malmberg filmed the documentary Marwencol over four years, and the result is beautiful and haunting. See the film at 7:30 p.m. Friday through Sunday (February 18 through 20) as part of the Webster University Film Series at the Moore Auditorium on Webster's campus (470 East Lockwood Avenue). Tickets are $5 to $6. For more information, call 314-968-7487 or visit
Feb. 18-20, 2011

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