June 1, 2012
FAILURE: A town that refuses to give up hope

We recently stumbled upon a poignant clip from a documentary in the works about a small town in Indiana called Medora. The producers were inspired by a New York Times article in 2009 that described the small town’s heartaches through its 0-22 basketball team. The documentary sought funding through Kickstarter, and because of its popularity, it exceeded its $18,000 original goal, ultimately collecting more than $65,000.

Watch some footage, here.

About the film, from the Kickstarter website:
Years ago, Medora was a booming rural community with prosperous farms, an automotive parts factory, a brick plant, and a thriving middle class. The factories have since closed, crippling Medora’s economy and its pride. The population has slowly dwindled to around 500 people. Drug use is common, the school faces consolidation, and as one resident put it, “This town’s on the ropes.”

Our documentary, Medora, follows the down-but-not-out Medora Hornets varsity basketball team over the course of the 2010 – 2011 season, capturing the players’ stories both on and off the court. The Hornets were riding a 44-game losing streak when we arrived, often playing schools ten to twenty times its size. The team’s struggle to compete bears eerie resonances with the town’s fight for survival in a country whose economy has shifted away from farming and manufacturing. Medora is an in-depth, deeply personal look at small-town life, a thrilling, underdog basketball story, and an inspiring tale of a community refusing to give up hope despite the brutal odds stacked against them — we like to think of it as a real-life, modern-day Hoosiers. On a grander scale, it’s a film about America, and the thousands of small towns across the country facing the same fight. As one townsperson told us, “Once we lose these small towns, we can’t get them back.”

Watch.

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