Published on November 19th, 2011 | by Spencer
”Brotherhood Of Bags” Captures Cornhole Intrigue
Independent filmmaker Paul Nelson has traveled the Midwest, searching for the heart and soul of the simple game of cornhole. What he discovers is that cornhole—or bags, or bag toss—has crossed over from curious novelty to real, national obsession. His documentary, “Brotherhood of Bags,” has aired on PBS stations in and around Chicago. The “Brotherhood of Bags” DVD is available for purchase at the official website. Here’s a short promotional video to give you a sense of the film:
Nelson explains that making this film allowed him to document “the evolution of a sport.” It’s interesting that he uses the word sport, because I don’t think anyone could have described cornhole in those terms just a few years ago. The game has indeed evolved tremendously, with numerous leagues and organizations taking root across the country. One of the most appealing aspects of cornhole is its openness. There’s literally no barrier to entry, no fear of embarrassment or getting hurt. You don’t have to be tall, or fast or strong to succeed in the game of cornhole—it’s equal opportunity, a game to symbolize the best of America. And for most, cornhole still is and always will be merely a humble game to play with your friends.
The dedicated cornhole enthusiast should absolutely find a way to see Nelson’s film. Even the casual weekend bag chucker will find something to like. “Brotherhood of Bags” is, after all, about more than the just the game of cornhole. It’s a slice of American life, and a portrait of small-town, Midwestern charm.