SXSW 2013 Movie Review: ‘Medora’
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Director: Andrew Cohn, Davy Rothbart
Cast: Dylan McSoley, Rusty Rogers, Robby Armstrong, Chaz Cowles, Justin Gilbert, Corey Hansen, Logan Farmer, Josh Deering, Rudie Crane, Dennis Pace

In the small town of Medora, Indiana, life revolves around high school basketball – but what happens to a community when their beloved team can’t win a single game?

Decades ago, Medora was a booming rural community with a thriving middle class, but the factories and farms have since closed and the population has dwindled. Medora has become something of a ghost town, riddled with trailer parks and abandoned businesses and one of the smallest schools in the nation.

Directed by Andrew Cohn and Davy Rothbart, Medora follows the down-but-not-out Medora Hornets, capturing the players’ stories on and off the court as they seek to avoid another winless season.

Another Kickstarter-funded film, Medora is an in-depth, deeply personal look at small-town life and an inspiring tale of a community refusing to give up hope despite brutal odds stacked against them. Think Winter’s Bone meets Hoop Dreams and you’ve got an idea of the struggles and hardships of these kids and how important just one victory could be for them.

Medora, Indiana looks like a post-apocalyptic wasteland at times – an empty, vast landscape of rusted metal, crumbling bricks, and broken glass. Cohn and Rothbart’s film is a sad, genuine portrayal of the decline of small-town America and the middle class.

It’s a film about people who have very little striving for a better future. It is an important documentary that shows how America has cannibalized itself, and the challenge that faces thousands of small towns across the country.


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