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The Order of Myths (2008)

tomatometer

100

Average Rating: 7.7/10
Reviews Counted: 33
Fresh: 33 | Rotten: 0

More than a documentary about the oldest Mardi Gras celebration in the south, Order of Myths encompasses the eccentric characters of Mobile and the still-lingering racial tensions that surround them.

100

Average Rating: 7.6/10
Critic Reviews: 12
Fresh: 12 | Rotten: 0

More than a documentary about the oldest Mardi Gras celebration in the south, Order of Myths encompasses the eccentric characters of Mobile and the still-lingering racial tensions that surround them.

audience

67

liked it
Average Rating: 3.7/5
User Ratings: 674

My Rating

Movie Info

In director Margaret Brown's The Order of Myths, she explores the parties, parades, and lesser-known gatherings that encompass the hedonistic event known as Mardi Gras, discovering that complex issues of class, race, and politics are seldom left behind, even in the name of celebration. ~ Cammila Collar, Rovi

Jan 13, 2009

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All Critics (33) | Top Critics (12) | Fresh (33) | Rotten (0)

A well-constructed documentary about a surprising remnant of segregation in the new South, The Order of Myths gracefully explores Mobile's Mardi Gras celebrations and profiles the young people playing at royalty at these ceremonies' hearts.

November 7, 2008
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

An invaluable portrait of us-and-them America, a smart, generous, poignant, quietly disturbing movie about secrecy and hospitality.

October 18, 2008 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Entertaining and provocative.

October 18, 2008 Full Review Source: AV Club
AV Club
Top Critic IconTop Critic

On both sides of the Mobile Mardi Gras divide, people seem to be edging toward a desire for reconciliation, but there remain significant differences about what that might entail.

July 25, 2008 Full Review Source: Salon.com
Salon.com
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Wise and soberly affecting documentary about the separate but unequal Mardi Gras festivities that take place each year in Mobile, Ala.

July 25, 2008
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This microcosmic look at race relations is a great reminder that, even in the year of Obama, we remain a nation divided between black and white.

July 24, 2008 Full Review Source: Time Out New York
Time Out New York
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Mobile and its still-segregated Mardi Gras tradition seem to be world unto themselves, presented without reference to the wider world's pressing issues--the failing economy, environmental concerns, war in Iraq. The documentary's impressive compilation of

April 3, 2009 Full Review Source: About.com | Comment (1)
About.com

Reveals ceremonies that are exotic, unexpected, colorful and incredibly ritualized, layered with vast amounts of denial, submerged agendas and hypocrisy.

February 11, 2009 Full Review Source: Laramie Movie Scope
Laramie Movie Scope

Separate but equal is alive and well in America; see how it works at Mardi Gras in Mobile

January 20, 2009 Full Review Source: Movie Habit
Movie Habit

A good time is had by all even in light of public displays of racial segregation in the Mobile, Alabama's Mardi Gras celebration.

January 19, 2009 Full Review Source: Monsters and Critics
Monsters and Critics

An informative behind-the-scenes look at America's oldest Mardi Gras.

December 5, 2008 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

[An] affectingly insightful and well-informed documentary. Myths taps into a special kind of Southern tradition%u2014with underlying racial overtones as a societal hovering factor.

December 4, 2008 Full Review
Movie Eye

A revealing anthropological portrait and reminder of American places where young people grow up surrounded by tradition, both positive and negative, and stay to carry it on.

December 3, 2008 Full Review Source: Film-Forward.com
Film-Forward.com

Trapped under the weight of hundreds of years of racial animosity and mistrust, with few clues as to how to work themselves free, the celebrants of the oldest Mardi Gras in the country take refuge in their traditions.

October 24, 2008 Full Review Source: Austin Chronicle
Austin Chronicle

[A] beautifully restrained, intelligent documentary about how complicated race relations can be in the modern South.

October 24, 2008 Full Review Source: Oregonian
Oregonian

Brown presents a complex, provocative view ...

August 8, 2008

Less a vitriolic critique than a considerate, despairing depiction of the intractable sway exerted by long-held, unpleasant traditions.

July 27, 2008 Full Review Source: Cinematical
Cinematical

Ostensibly about Mobile, Alabama's annual Mardi Gras tradition, which dates back to 1703, Margaret Brown's documentary is actually an examination of the racial divide in a city that claims there is none.

July 25, 2008 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

The cast of characters trailed by the crew is a compelling batch.

July 25, 2008 Full Review Source: Boxoffice Magazine
Boxoffice Magazine

Engrossing if discomfiting.

July 25, 2008 Full Review Source: Film Journal International
Film Journal International

Audience Reviews for The Order of Myths

[font=Century Gothic]"The Order of Myths" is a documentary focusing on the 2007 Mardi Gras celebrations in Mobile, Alabama which date back further than those in New Orleans. For each Mardi Gras, there is a white king and queen and a black king and queen, each with their accompanying courts.(The white monarchs are drawn from the wealthiest and oldest families of the city and this also doubles as a coming out into society. For example, an ancestor of the white queen's owned the last ship that brought slaves into Mobile.) Even the mystic societies that hold parades in the days leading up to Mardi Gras are almost entirely segregated.(The members of these societies wear masks and I could not help but wonder if there was any historical connection to the Ku Klux Klan. Especially considering that Mobile had a lynching as recent as 1981...) Since tradition and history are the apparent reasons for the continuing segregation, then most of these events could easily be written off as a particularly southern phenomenon. In general, the documentary does not probe very deep beneath the surface and does not have anything terribly profound to say concerning race relations.[/font]

[font=Century Gothic]But there are signs of hope which include the election of the first black mayor in the city's history. One member of the white court is much more liberal and open to new ideas than others of her ilk. But come on, guys. This was 2007. What is taking so long? [/font]
July 27, 2008
Harlequin68
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

A nice complementary film to Prom Night in Mississippi. Proof about segregation still forming a major part of the landscape in the southern U.S. The director should be credited with showing restraint on the preaching and just allowing the persons and actions flow.
July 19, 2010
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer

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