Mt. Vernon Register-News

Z_CNHI News Service

December 10, 2013

Basketball team, small town struggle with defeat

If “Medora” were just another movie about a hard-luck high school basketball team, you might pan it and say, “So what? Who cares? Seen that.”

But it would be a mistake to dismisses this 82-minute documentary about a small town in southern Indiana and its 72-student high school that knows more despair than success.

"Medora" takes an intimate, raw look at people struggling now that the world has sped past them - much as it has thousands of other rural communities in America.

The film is showing at selected theaters or can be seen on-demand at www.medorafilm.com. It will be featured on the PBS program “Independent Lens” beginning March 31.

If the rollout is unconventional, so is the movie.

The film centers on a basketball team but is really about the survival of a way of life. One resident of Medora, whose population hovers around 700, observes: “Once we lose these small towns, we can’t get them back.”

What makes this story different is that it’s told by teenagers, some who have dreams and aspirations and others who struggle to make it to the next day.

Producers Davy Rothbart and Andrew Cohn set up this conflict early in the movie. Coach Justin Gilbert excoriates his team, which lost all 22 games the previous year, for failing to score a point in the fourth quarter of another humbling loss.

“Are you kidding me?” he says. “You had no points. Zero. Zero points in the fourth quarter. Zero. None. In eight minutes. Eight minutes. Eight minutes. Zero. Are you kidding me?”

The players slump, their heads bowed, on a locker room bench. Their expressions range between lost and humiliated.

If that was bad, an observation by one of the team’s better players is even more wrenching. Introspective Dylan McSoley ponders life without a father and whether he should try to contact him. “Hey, this is Dylan McSoley. You might not know me, but I’m your son,” he says, leaving a telephone message for a man he’s never seen except for once on a Facebook post.

Text Only
Z_CNHI News Service
  • Survey results in legislation to battle sexual assault on campus

    Missouri U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill joined a bipartisan group of senators Wednesday to announce legislation that aims to reduce the number of sexual assaults on college campuses.

    July 30, 2014

  • Rodden, Danny.jpg Sheriff accused of lying about relationship with prostitute

    The sheriff of Clark County, Ind., faces an eight-count federal indictment that accuses him of lying about paying a prostitute for a sex act and giving her a badge so that she could claim a discount rate at a hotel.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • An alarming threat to airlines that no one's talking about

    It's been an abysmal year for the flying public. Planes have crashed in bad weather, disappeared over the Indian Ocean and tragically crossed paths with anti-aircraft missiles over Ukraine.

    July 30, 2014

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Sideshows involving Rice and Dungy stain NFL's image

    Pro football training camps should be all about, well, football. But the talk around the NFL is about Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice's two-game suspension, Tony Dungy's indelicate remarks about Michael Sam and Jim Irsay's largesse. What kind of league is Roger Goodell running?

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • linda-ronstadt.jpg Obama had crush on First Lady of Rock

    Linda Ronstadt remained composed as she walked up to claim her National Medal of Arts at a White House ceremony Monday afternoon.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Can black women have it all?

    In a powerful new essay for the National Journal, my friend Michel Martin makes a compelling case for why we need to continue the having-it-all conversation.

    July 29, 2014

  • Dangerous Darkies Logo.png Redskins not the only nickname to cause a stir

    Daniel Snyder has come under fire for refusing to change the mascot of his NFL team, the Washington Redskins. The Redskins, however, are far from being the only controversial mascot in sports history.  Here is a sampling of athletic teams from all areas of the sports world that were outside the norm.

    July 28, 2014 3 Photos

  • 'Rebel' mascot rising from the dead

    Students and alumni from a Richmond, Va.-area high school are seeking to revive the school's historic mascot, a Confederate soldier known as the "Rebel Man," spurring debate about the appropriateness of public school connections to the Civil War and its icons.

    July 28, 2014

  • Fast food comes to standstill in China

    The shortage of meat is the result of China's latest food scandal, in which a Shanghai supplier allegedly tackled the problem of expired meat by putting it in new packaging and shipping it to fast-food restaurants around the country

    July 28, 2014

  • wd saturday tobias .jpg Stranger’s generosity stuns Ohio veteran

    Vietnam War veteran David A. Tobias was overwhelmed recently when a fellow customer at an OfficeMax store near Ashtabula, Ohio paid for a computer he was purchasing.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

Twitter Updates
Facebook
Stocks