Kevin von Duuglas-Ittu, director of social media at Tonner Doll, suggested a documentary movie called Marwencol to me yesterday.  It features a man who survived a severe beating who has created an alternate world using 1/6 scale dolls. It is not about dolls, but it moved both myself and my husband who watched it along with me last night.

Click on the image below to get more information.

On this page, LINK, there are several short clips. But..I recommend watching the entire film.

I'm adding some of the comments I sent to Kevin after seeing the film.
My husband, Bob, and I watched Marwencol last night. OMG!
I experienced many feelings while watching. First of all I was near tears a few times. Next I was in awe of Mark's innate artistic vision. I also realized that he's not in reality all the time. He goes back and forth between being himself to being a figure in his town. It's tragic that he was cut off from therapy but amazing that he continues to create.
It's an amazing story and I loved it on so many levels.
This was definitely not about dolls nor do I see him as a doll photographer. He is capturing moments of his own life and making them 'concrete.' It keeps him anchored in whatever world he is inhabiting at the moment.
I felt pain during the segments of the art show in NY when he was talking to people who weren't at all connecting with him. When he talks about 'arming' himself before going out of his house I felt terrible. He has so much fear.
This movie is a treasure and should be marketed to therapists and rehabs. It's a perfect movie for recovering alcoholics to view...not that it's about alcoholism, but it's one of the tragic results of drinking...inappropriate talk under the influence. He knew exactly why those guys beat him up.
The funniest part of the movie was his perception of Greenwich Village and what he thought he'd see there.
I was a little shocked with the revelation of his cross-dressing penchant but it tied in when he talked about what he said in the bar that caused the beating.
I feel like I want to give him things and I may put together a package of art materials and doll stuff and bring it over to that hobby shop so they can give it to him. I have tons of stuff he might be able to use.
I was happy to see that half way through the movie he got a digital camera. I actually have that same film Pentax he was using in the beginning! It's a great camera. 
I agree that although it's not about dolls specifically, the part in which he talks about forgetting everything else and just being involved with the dolls is very relevant and I identified with that.
I've heard many collectors say that their cares and worries disappear when they're playing with their dolls.
I sometimes feel like that myself but on the dark side of that concept is that so many treat their dolls better than they treat themselves and their families and they also spend money that should be used otherwise.

If you have seen this film, please add your comments below.


  1. I watched this a couple years ago and thought it was both disturbing and inspiring how Mark deals with the aftermath of his injury using his dolls and action figures in the elaborate world he has created.I hope he's doing well and wonder what a psychologist would say about all us dolly lovers lol.It felt kinda exploitative when they did whole gallery thing to me though.

  2. I saw this documentary on PBS several months ago (curiously, one of the few things they didn't repeat ad nauseum) and was so moved by his story that I purchased the DVD. It's an amazing documentary about the healing powers of imagination (truly, "the POWER of play") and creativity. His work is magnificent.