Day 37 – June 11th – Man Shoes

Man Shoes

I just watched the documentary Marwencol. Really great film – I recommend watching it (you can currently get it on Netflix instant watch).

“Marwencol” is a documentary about the fantasy world of Mark Hogancamp.
After being beaten into a brain-damaging coma by five men outside a bar, Mark builds a 1/6th scale World War II-era town in his backyard. Playing in the town and photographing the action helps Mark to recover his hand-eye coordination and deal with the psychic wounds of the attack. When Mark and his photographs are discovered, a prestigious New York gallery sets up an art show. Suddenly Mark’s homemade therapy is deemed “art”, forcing him to choose between the safety of his fantasy life in Marwencol and the real world that he’s avoided since the attack.
The men who attacked Mark did so because Mark identifies as a cross dresser. Mostly, he loves women’s shoes. At one point in the film, Mark goes to a gallery opening of his work and feels pressured to wear “man shoes” instead of the high heals he would rather wear. In what I think is one of the best lines of the movie, Mark just looks down and says, disapprovingly, ” … fucking man shoes…”
It is really interesting to me that, although Mark lost all memory of who he was and all that came before the attack, his love for women’s shoes stays constant. This story is a beautiful reminder that we are who we are, that is all we need to be, and no one has the right to judge that.


Check out Steve Ersinghaus’ fantastic poem “Man Shoes” that branches off from this post.

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