The award-winning documentary Marwencol is about a man finding himself after a tragedy. The film was a similar journey for Jeff Malmberg.
Having survived a horrific beating by five men near his hometown of Kingston, New York, Mark Hogencamp's long road to recuperation became focused on art, specifically building a fictional Belgian town (Marwencol) in his backyard and populating it with figures from World War II using military figures and Barbie dolls. The film was the winner of the Grand Jury Award at SXSW, Seattle International Film Festival and Cleveland International Film Festival, as well as winner of Best Documentary at Woodstock Film Festival and Comic-Con.
Malmberg recounts winning Hogencamp's trust, and discusses the film's therapeutic impact on Hogencamp, his emergence as a well respected artist, and the decision to tell the emotional rather than the narrative truth.