FROM READERS: Documentary about small-town life will play Monday at Ragtag

Monday, December 2, 2013 | 6:00 a.m. CST

Morgan English is the associate producer of Medora.

Medora is a deeply personal look at life in small-town America. Directors Davy Rothbart and Andrew Cohn explore Medora, Indiana, a once booming rural community with a thriving middle class. Now the factories and farms have closed, the population has dwindled, and the remaining citizens fight to keep their town from fading off the map.

The film follows four teenage boys from the down-but-not-out Medora Hornets, capturing the players’ stories both on and off the basketball court. “We wanted to make a sensitive, respectful documentary about all the challenges they were facing,” says Rothbart. “For instance, many of the players don’t have a stable father figure. Sometimes the basketball coaches were the only consistent male figures in their lives.”

This riveting underdog sports story explores the value of America’s small towns. The only factory may have shut down, but people still live there and still hold on to the town’s identity. They still are passionate about their high school basketball team, even though the team has only won only a handful of games in the past 10 years. Medora is an inspiring tale of a community who refuses to give up, despite the brutal odds stacked against them.

Medora will show at Ragtag Cinema on Monday, December 2 at 8:30pm. This one-night-only event will feature a Q&A with both directors, along with subjects from the film. Purchase tickets online here.

Medora is also available to rent and stream on demand here.

This story is part of a section of the Missourian called From Readers, which is dedicated to your voices and your stories. We hope you'll consider sharing. Here's how. Supervising editor is Joy Mayer.

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