#2. The Order of Myths (2008)
Yes! Finally, a documentary about Mardi Gras in Mobile!
Oh damn. It is also about how we’re all horrible racists.
Much like “By Invitation Only”, one of Mobile’s native blueblood daughters returns to her hometown to shine a light on the racism that is inherent in the old-line Carnival traditions.
I ranked this one higher because it is longer and does a better job at focusing on how complicated the issue is.
I know a few of the people highlighted in this film, and they are kind of pissed at Margaret Brown, the filmmaker, because they feel they were duped into thinking she was making, basically, a travelogue about Mobile Mardi Gras. Instead, they are all portrayed as racists at best, and KKK members at worst.
Still, the camera doesn’t lie and these old pre-Civil War traditions do not die easily.
Like in “By Invitation Only”, it is emphasized that it is less about race, and more about family and social and economic class. And in the end, we’re talking about private clubs here, so they can do what they want, no matter how boring the old-line Carnival stuff is.
I also ranked this one a bit higher because it shows some of the fun of Mardi Gras. It’s not all a downer, as you can take what you want from the film and from Mardi Gras. In the end, it’s a free show, a street party, and an excuse to celebrate with your friends and family.
To quote one of the main characters in the film, “You know, uh, there’s a good spirit. It developed into a fun time. I mean, ah, you can make something bad out of anything. I mean, the spirit of Mardi Gras is Fun.”