Film Fest Showcase: ‘Marwencol’ shows Mark’s World

Jeffrey Herwig, Office Manager

The film Marwencol supplies an interesting view of reality. Mark, the victim of a vicious assault, has to cope with life after the attack. Therefore he creates his own world to parallel the real world. The film chronicles Mark’s struggle between the imaginary place he intricately fashioned and society around him.

At 38 years old, Mark relearns most basic things such as how to walk. Two years ago, five young men dragged Mark out of a bar and nearly beat him to a pulp. He survived but the right side of his face was bashed in and he lost nearly all the memories of his life before the attack. He lost any previous identity he had.

Audience members were awed at the innocent creativity Mark employed while fashioning his world. He doesn’t consider the stereotypes or limitations that others around him do. He’s just telling a story.

Mark bases the characters in his town upon real people and then fashions an alter ego. Despite differences in appearances, the dolls he makes have a much cooler story. His town is also based off parts of real people’s names: Mar (Mark), Wen (from Wren) and Col (from Colleen his first crush after the attack).

Ultimately, these dolls provide a sense of security for Mark. Every day when he walks along the side of a road he carries a toy Jeep with four or five Marwencol residents armed to the teeth with the best weaponry.

The director does a superb job making the film a documentary without looking like one. Editing techniques give Marwencol a cinematic feel, which is beneficial for mainstream viewers accustomed to Hollywood. A healthy variety of different shots and angles keep Marwencol interesting.

More impressive, however, is the seamless fusion between live video and still photography. The photography is done entirely by Mark, and by itself it is breathtaking. Both elements complimented each other nicely.

The director keeps the plot of the story in neat compartmentalized chunks always preceded by a clever sign held by one of the Marwencol residents. These chunks make the progression easy to follow.