Catch a screening of Marwencol, followed by a panel discussion with local artist Skinner and Richard L. Nelson Gallery’s Renny Pritikin, on Thursday, June 16, 7:30 p.m. at Verge Center for the Arts, 625 S Street; $7; free popcorn.
Rated 4.0

The subject of Jeff Malmberg’s quietly affecting documentary is Mark Hogancamp, an ex-military man beaten nearly to death outside a bar in 2000. With the part of his brain that stores and processes memories severely damaged, Hogancamp was forced to start his entire life over, including dealing with the drunken shambles he had become prior to the attack. Mentally scarred and alienated from most social interactions, Hogancamp poured his fears and fantasies into Marwencol, a one-sixth-scale model of a World War II village in which he starred as protector to the town’s female citizens/Barbie dolls. Marwencol was conceived as an unusual form of “therapy,” but Hogancamp is often unable to distinguish between his miniature fantasy town and the “real world” outside. Malmberg shows us a man forced to redevelop his personality from scratch, a process forcibly accelerated when Marwencol is “discovered” by a New York arts magazine.