'Medora' premiered at this year's SXSW film festival, where it broke a few hearts, caused many tears to be shed and got fists pumping in a way that only great sports stories can. This tiny documentary is one of the more enthralling and moving stories you'll see this year, and the first official trailer does an excellent job of selling what it's all about.
A portrait of the town of Medora, Indiana told through their struggling high school basketball team, Andrew Cohn and Davy Rothbart's simple documentary is just as much about the dissolution of small town America as it is about high school basketball. It's a fairly bleak examination of a state (and a nation) facing all kinds of severe economic crises, but it also offers plenty of hope, following the last-place Medora Hornets as they battle to end their losing streak and bring pride to their once-great town.
'Medora' feels primed to eventually get the Hollywood remake treatment (and we certainly wouldn't be opposed to a 'Friday Night Lights'-esque take on the material), but this movie is the complete package. If you like inspiring sports stories told with humanity and simplicity, this is one of your new favorite movies. You don't even need a fictionalized version -- you don't get much more moving or dramatic than the real events.
[Ed. Note: Full disclosure, 'Medora' assistant director/director of photography Rachel Counce is a friend of ScreenCrush staff.]