Community Cinema ~ Medora
A small town and its high school basketball team's fight for survival.
A new documentary film by Andrew Cohn and Davy Rothbart
Years ago, Medora was a booming rural community with a thriving middle class. But the factories and farms are now closed and the population has dwindled. Poverty and despair have moved in. Ultimately, Medora is a film about America, and the thousands of small towns across the country facing the same fight for survival. As one resident observes, “Once we lose these small towns, we can’t get them back.”
"Medora exerts an unshakable hold. No spoilers here, but there won't be a dry eye in the house. Thanks to filmmakers of unfailing sensitivity, as well as protagonists of exceptional character and resolve, Medora earns every tear." – The Washington Post
"Gently affecting... a mournful Midwestern ballad. Sustained by Hoosier pride, the Medora Hornets — like their town — just don't know how to give up." – The New York Times
About the film
The filmmakers traveled to the tiny town after reading a 2009 New York Times story about the struggles of the basketball team. The next fall, with the blessing of Medora High School and the local community, Cohn and Rothbart began to document a year in the life of some of the players and coaches. The Hornets' three coaches are all volunteers who hold down full-time jobs as a cop, a preacher and a stonecutter. Rusty Rogers, the six-foot, five-inch center, is virtually homeless due to his mother’s problems with alcohol, and lives with point guard Zach Fish in public housing. Shooting guard Dylan McSoley wonders whether he should reach out to his dad, a man he’s never met who lives in the next town over. Robby Armstrong, a farmer’s son, wants to be the first in his family to complete high school, while Chaz Cowles, arrested on a gun charge, does his best to stay out of trouble with the law.
Watch the trailer
Run time: 82 min.
ABOUT COMMUNITY CINEMA
Community Cinema is a groundbreaking public education and civic engagement initiative featuring free monthly screenings of films from the Emmy Award-winning series Independent Lens and other PBS presentations. Community Cinema is on location in more than 100 cities nationally, bringing together leading organizations, community members, and public television stations to learn, discuss, and get involved in key social issues of our time.
The Independent Television Service funds, presents, and promotes award-winning documentaries and dramas on public television, innovative new media projects on the Web, and the Emmy® Award-winning weekly series Independent Lens. Mandated by Congress in 1988 and funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, ITVS has brought more than one thousand independently produced programs to date to American audiences. www.itvs.org
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