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Medora (2013)

In America's basketball heartland, four boys from rural Medora, Indiana fight to end their high school's team's losing streak, as their dwindling town faces the threat of extinction.

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3 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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In America's basketball heartland, four boys from rural Medora, Indiana fight to end their high school's team's losing streak, as their dwindling town faces the threat of extinction.

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Documentary | Sport

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2013 (USA)  »

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Won a News and Documentary Emmy for Outstanding Business and Economic Reporting after being shown on the PBS' Independent Lens. See more »

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. More than a Sports Documentary – Medora is the Story of all the Struggles of the Rural Midwest
14 March 2013 | by (Austin, TX, United States) – See all my reviews

Medora was a very warmly received in its world premiere at Austin's SXSW Film Festival. On the surface the film is an inverse version of Hoosiers; it is the story of a small town Indiana basketball that hasn't won a basketball game in a very long time. But when one looks below the surface, Medora is about a small Indiana town where the factories have closed and most residents are struggling with poverty and all of the social maladies that it produces – like alcoholism, drug abuse and dysfunctional families. The Medora High School's losing basketball team becomes an emblem for all of the Medora's struggles and really for the struggles of thousands of small towns like Medora across the country (although especially in the Midwest). The major reason that the team struggles is that the school is so small that it lacks a student body large enough to compete with other consolidated schools with 10x the student body.

Medora is not a sports film in the traditional sense that it has very little to do with how the team is coached or what defense they should use. The film digs much deeper as the filmmakers follow the students and get inside their home lives and see the struggles of their families with alcoholism, poverty, and absentee parents. The young men are also reaching manhood and trying to figure out what they want to do with their own lives. Medora offers a touching picture of the struggles of rural America. Hopefully, this beautifully filmed documentary will be picked up for broadcast by PBS so that it can gain the much wider audience that it richly deserves.

And does Medora finally win a basketball game? Well, you'll have to watch the film to find out.


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