“They don’t want to consolidate,” Medora schools superintendent Tom Judd said. “They want that individual identity, and to see ‘Medora Hornets’ mean what it meant 10 years ago, and mean the same thing next year.”
“Medora” was filmed during the 2010-11 season, following the Hornets’ 2-40 stretch the previous two years. On the court, it’s about the team’s quest just to win a single contest.
“It gave every game a championship-like intensity,” Rothbart said. “But really, it’s about the kids trying to win at life.”
The Hornets’ coaches are a cop, a preacher and a stone cutter, a combination maybe only possible in Southern Indiana.
“They were some of the heroic figures that we saw down there,” Rothbart said. “Sometimes they were the only consistent male presence in the boys’ lives.”
In the end, in relation to the power of the story, whether the Hornets got that elusive win is irrelevant. While most sports films celebrate some epic achievement, the heart of “Medora” is based not in winning, but the character built in perpetual losing, and under desperate off-court circumstances.
For the filmmakers, while a good box-office take and career-building notoriety will be welcomed, that isn’t how they’ll rate the value of “Medora.”
“I’ll measure success on the experience and relationships,” Cohn said. “We went into this with no expectations, and I think that’s where great art comes from.”
“Medora” runs at the Indiana State Museum IMAX through Dec. 5.
— Follow Westside Flyer sports writer Brent Glasgow on Twitter @BGlasgow37.