Freddy’s Bar and Backroom (627 5th Ave., Brooklyn)
“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.” … 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.
Followed by: recent award-winning, underseen doc October Country (dir. Michael Palmieri, Donal Mosher, 2009, 80min) a verite look at an American family haunted by the ghosts of war and abuse. “Shot over a year from one Halloween to the next, the film uses rich visual metaphors and floats through multiple storylines to paint a portrait of a family who are unique but also sadly representative of the struggles of Americaʼs working class. Winner of the 2009 SILVERDOCS Grand Jury Prize for best US Documentary Feature.” Filmed in upstate NY.