Independent Lens: Medora

About This Episode


In Indiana, where life revolves around high school basketball, what happens to a community when their beloved team can no longer win a single game?

Years ago, Medora, Indiana was a booming rural community with prosperous farms, an automotive parts factory, a brick plant, and a thriving middle class. But the factories and farms have since closed and the population has dwindled, crippling the town's economy and its pride. Also, drug use is common and the school faces consolidation.

Medora follows the down-but-not-out Medora Hornets varsity basketball team over the course of the 2011 season, capturing the players’ stories both on and off the court. Riding a brutal losing streak, the team’s struggle to compete bears eerie resemblance to the town’s fight for survival. Ultimately, the film is about America and the thousands of small towns across the country facing the same fight. As one Medora resident observes, “Once we lose these small towns, we can’t get them back.”