Hendricks County Flyer, Avon, IN

Westside

December 3, 2013

'Medora' a heroic, troubling snapshot of rural Indiana

If “Hoosiers” is the heartwarming tale of a treasured era of Indiana small-town history long gone, “Medora” is a sobering examination of what remains of many of those towns with its passing.

One of 20 nationwide stops, the documentary by Michigan natives Andrew Cohn and Davy Rothbart debuted at the Indiana State Museum IMAX last Friday night to a nearly-packed house. It tells the story of the Medora Hornets, a boys’ basketball team from a Southern Indiana school of just 72 kids. More than sports, it is about the difficulties faced by the impoverished people of the once-thriving towns abandoned by industry and forgotten by time.

Norman Dale and Jimmy Chitwood, it ain’t.

One player has a mother is in rehab, so he lives with a teammate. Another doesn’t know his dad, and lives with his grandmother because his mom’s a mess. One is kicked off the team early in the season, a young man who’s currently in jail for trying to rob a Pizza Hut. Another has a learning disability, and despite being accepted to a technical school, he stays home to help on the family farm, thus continuing the familial cycle of not escaping the economic desolation.

One of the more telling quotes in the film comes from a female resident who was asked how she would describe Medora.

“Closed,” she said.

To get the deepest story possible, for eight months, the filmmakers moved to Medora, a dilapidated town of 700 residents. For the 82-minute film, they shot over 600 hours of footage, including player partying and in-home drama. The result is a gripping portrait of a community hanging by a thread.

Medora’s desperate grip on its past includes its fight against school consolidation. Despite a $280,000 deficit, the district refuses to be like the many towns like it, whose bleak futures evaporated completely once their schools shut down.

Text Only
Westside
  • Lawson launches financial literacy program |Indiana Secretary of State Connie Lawson recently launched the Indiana MoneyWise financial literacy program. The program, formerly known as Indiana Investment Watch, is focused on improving Hoosiers’ financial literacy and protecting investors from

    August 22, 2014

  • WSF 8-26 spt bd vb pic-1 Giants fall in season opener After a shaky start, Brownsburg gained more confidence with each passing set in Tuesday’s 26-28, 26-24, 25-14, 25-19 season-opening victory at Ben Davis. For Brownsburg coach Bob Yeager, it looked like a typical debut match. “There were a lot more va

    August 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Venison donation program continues |A program that allows hunters to give deer meat to the public will continue again this fall. GiveIN Game, the Indiana Department of Natural Resources Division of Fish & Wildlife’s venison donation program, will be available for its fourth year. Hunte

    August 21, 2014

  • Venison donation program continues |A program that allows hunters to give deer meat to the public will continue again this fall. GiveIN Game, the Indiana Department of Natural Resources Division of Fish & Wildlife’s venison donation program, will be available for its fourth year. Hunte

    August 21, 2014

  • Labor Day holiday closings |Don Snemis, commissioner of the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV), has announced that all BMV license branches will be closed Aug. 30 through Sept. 1 in observance of the Labor Day holiday. All license branches will resume their regularly sched

    August 21, 2014

  • Gaming revenues rush over the border as Illinois expands slots |INDIANAPOLIS — Beer and barbecue aren’t the only draws to Daddy-O’s Bar & Grill in the small town of Paris, Ill., 15 miles from the Indiana border. The prospect of winning pulls in customers, as well. Since the neighborhood bar installed five video

    August 21, 2014

  • What's going on at your local library? All Indianapolis Public Library locations will be closed Aug. 31 and Sept. 1 in observance of Labor Day, except for the InfoZone, located within The Children’s Museum at 3000 N. Meridian St., which will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. Decatu

    August 20, 2014

  • Enhancements being made to IND Terminal Garage Taking advantage of the closest parking to the Indianapolis International Airport (IND) terminal will become an even smoother process, thanks to several initiatives underway in the Terminal Garage. The projects, which will be completed over the next

    August 20, 2014

  • Enhancements being made to IND Terminal Garage Taking advantage of the closest parking to the Indianapolis International Airport (IND) terminal will become an even smoother process, thanks to several initiatives underway in the Terminal Garage. The projects, which will be completed over the next

    August 19, 2014

  • WSF 8-19 news med research pic Clinical research company looking for test subjects Community Medical Research Partners are looking for volunteers to help with pharmaceutical research.“All drugs that meet FDA approval have to go through a clinical trial process,” explains Michele Hall, director of operations for CMRP. “They first st

    August 19, 2014 1 Photo

House Ads
Hendricks County Marquee
Email News Sign Up
Facebook
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Poll

Are you worried about the violence in Ferguson, Mo., spreading across the country?

Yes
No
Not concerned one way or the other
     View Results
AP Video
Japan Landslide Rescuers Struggle in Heavy Rain Raw: Severe Floods, Fire Wrecks Indiana Homes Endangered Red Wolves Face Uncertain Future Raw: Russian Aid Convoy Arrives in Ukraine Hamm Talks Emmy Chances Okla. Policeman Accused of Sex Assaults on Duty Raw: Egypt Bus Crash Kills at Least 33 Two Bodies Found in Adjacent Yards Dominican Republic Bans Miley Cyrus Concert Raw: Israeli Air Strike in Gaza Raw: Rescue Efforts Suspended at Japan Landslide Raw: Bodies of MH17 Victims Arrive in Malaysia Raw: Smaller Marches in Ferguson Attorney: Utah Eatery Had Other Chemical Burn Farm Resurgence Grows With Younger Crowd Microbrewery Chooses Special Can for Its Beer Ky. Firefighters Hurt in Ice Bucket Challenge Federal Investigation Will Look at Use of Force Community Deals With Michael Brown Aftermath US: We Do Not Pay Ransom to Terrorists
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Must Read