Film fest's 'Medora' looks at state's worst hoops team

July 19, 2013
Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

In Monday's issue of IBJ, I'll be highlighting some of the strongest selections at this year's Indianapolis International Film Festival.

But since one is screening Friday (i.e., tonight) in an unusual venue, I thought I'd tip my hand.

“Medora,” my favorite of the films I've seen so far, is a gutsy documentary about the losingest team in Indiana high school basketball. While most of the IIFF films are being screened at the Indianapolis Museum of Art, this one will be shown in the gymanasium of the Harrison Center for the Arts, 1505 N. Delaware St.

There are plenty of reasons for the Medora Hornets’ long streak of goose eggs in the win column, chief among them the fact that the Jackson County town has one of the few remaining unconsolidated schools in the state. With a senior class numbering in the dozens, it’s no wonder the team has trouble competing.

But to the filmmakers’ credit, this is not a movie where “Gonna Fly Now” is going to blast during a training sequence, inspiring the kids to greatness. Basketball blunders are only a small part of the problems facing Medora, which is representative of small towns across America where the disappearance of factory work left a population with a coin-flip choice of hopelessness or relocation.

The “Medora” filmmakers (including Found magazine creator Davy Rothbart) capture the humiliating games, yes, but also the limited choices, the petty crimes, the military recruiting, the family messes, and the awkwardness of being an adolescent in an environment where just doing OK is a remarkable achievement.

No, it doesn’t offer any answers—and its final few minutes try to make a case that the rest of the film hasn’t supported. But I can’t recall ever watching a sports film where I wanted so badly for a team to win—on and off the court.

Your thoughts?

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this blog

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT
  1. Those of you yelling to deport them all should at least understand that the law allows minors (if not from a bordering country) to argue for asylum. If you don't like the law, you can petition Congress to change it. But you can't blindly scream that they all need to be deported now, unless you want your government to just decide which laws to follow and which to ignore.

  2. 52,000 children in a country with a population of nearly 300 million is decimal dust or a nano-amount of people that can be easily absorbed. In addition, the flow of children from central American countries is decreasing. BL - the country can easily absorb these children while at the same time trying to discourage more children from coming. There is tension between economic concerns and the values of Judeo-Christian believers. But, I cannot see how the economic argument can stand up against the values of the believers, which most people in this country espouse (but perhaps don't practice). The Governor, who is an alleged religious man and a family man, seems to favor the economic argument; I do not see how his position is tenable under the circumstances. Yes, this is a complicated situation made worse by politics but....these are helpless children without parents and many want to simply "ship" them back to who knows where. Where are our Hoosier hearts? I thought the term Hoosier was synonymous with hospitable.

  3. Illegal aliens. Not undocumented workers (too young anyway). I note that this article never uses the word illegal and calls them immigrants. Being married to a naturalized citizen, these people are criminals and need to be deported as soon as humanly possible. The border needs to be closed NOW.

  4. Send them back NOW.

  5. deport now

ADVERTISEMENT