The Order of Myths - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Order of Myths Reviews

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August 10, 2013
WIth every minute of this film I had less and less respect for americans in the south. I guess some people can never chagne... and "tradition" in this case is not helping.
October 29, 2012
Really great documentary of a strong southern tradition. Highly recommended if you are from or around Mobile, AL.
June 12, 2012
Fascinating documentary that hits a little too close to home, geographically-speaking.
April 18, 2012
Documentary about the still-segregated Mardi Gras celebrations in Mobile, AL.
½ November 13, 2011
Excellent film dealing with segregation of Mardi Gras festivals in Mobile, Alabama.
August 31, 2011
This is a fascinating documentary on the almost completely segregated Mardi Gras celebrations in Mobile, Alabama. Margaret Brown somehow manages to show the splendor of both while at the same time not pulling punches when it comes to showing the racism present. An interesting film on many levels!
April 23, 2011
While expertly made, The Order of Myths felt a little unfocused. It deals with segregation in Mardi Gras in Mobile, mystic societies, and Mardi Gras kings and queens but never decides what it is truly about. As a result, it really doesn't delve too deeply into any of the topics. On top of that, I felt the title was a little deceiving. Having no knowledge on the film before going in (other than it was supposed to be good), I figured this was a film about myths in the world, and maybe some of the most common (basing this guess on the title). However the title simply comes from one of the mystic societies talked about in the film, even though the film focuses to a greater extent on topics not related to these societies (it doesn't even explain what these groups are). The structure of the film could have been better too, giving a background on the event for those (like myself) who aren't familiar with Mardi Gras other than the stereotypical elements seen on TV. This isn't by any means a bad film, but if you are expecting a clear-cut documentary exploring in depth about a specific topic, this may not be for you.
½ March 8, 2011
Happy Fat Tuesday! Did you know that America's first Mardi Gras was celebrated in Mobile, Alabama in 1703? Don't miss this excellent documentary about the city's still-segregated celebrations.
½ August 6, 2010
Worth every second to sensitize those who still don't have a clue about de facto social apartheid in Southern USA.
A clear presentation of two parallel Mardi Gras in Mobile, Alabama where line colors have been the only factor considered for traditional invitation lists of each coronation, debutant ballrooms and any kind of relation in that place, even up to 2007. And it's clear to me that not because the director Margaret Brown is white had privileged access to all locations and proper interviewees: she's is a Mobile socialite herself, which adds a inside look of the whole centennial segregated celebration.
Super Reviewer
July 19, 2010
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.
½ February 15, 2010
Amazing documentary about the parallel segregated Mardi Gras traditions in Mobile. The director presents everything in a detached, almost anthropological style: no voice-overs, but lots of smart editing to juxtapose comments or actions. Some excellent visual metaphors and quiet telling moments highlight larger truths. A lot of ugliness has been gentrified into "tradition" and "heritage" and there are only a few obvious moments of discomfort for the people inside this system. The ending has some optimistic moments, but the need for progress is clear for all to see.
December 13, 2009
Interesting and surprising documentary and not in a good way. Segregation is still alive and thriving in the old south. It's very odd that both blacks & whites accept a tradition that was clearly unjust and cruel.
½ October 18, 2009
Very interesting documentary about the orignal (yrs before New Orleans) Mardi Gras in Mobile Alabama..it's "Order" tells of the segregrated two Mardi Gras parades held (one black, one white) and of the secret societies that it is supported by.
½ July 19, 2009
Wow, I grew up in a Florida town very close to Mobile, and I had no idea of the Mardi Gras segregation debacle over that way. The documentary hinted at the beginning of change, but it will be a path, not an overnight switch.
July 16, 2009
A well-done look at race relations in the south through the lens of the Mardi Gras mystic societies in Mobile (which has the oldest Mardi Gras celebration in the US). Really enjoyed this!
½ June 30, 2009
A fascinating look at the race and class politics behind the historic segregation of Mardi Gras celebrations in Mobile, AL. What at first seems like a biting deconstruction of the discourse of "roots," history, and tradition beckons for optimism as historical precedents are being set by small but very significant acts fo integration. Racism and isn't at all a thing of the past, but neither is it entirely as stable as it once was.

Really interesting to see the intersections of race and class, especially the Jum Crow-like divisions of labor reproduced within the pre and post produciton of the festival. The tree metaphor of "roots' and lynching I found espeically interesting, as well as the history of the town and last slave ship to enter American harbors relationship with the woman crowned as Mardi Gras queen of 2007.
April 29, 2009
Written and Directed by Margaret Brown

Living in the south, and not knowing much about Mardi Gras, I watched this documentary solely on the basis that it is set in Mobile, Alabama. It centers on two different Mardis Gras celebrations in the city, one put on by the Mobile Carnival Association (MCA) and the Mobile Area Carnival Commission (MACC), MCA being the white Mardi Gras commission, MACC being the black one.

The film talks about Mardi Gras, and its ties to Mobile, where the first Mardi Gras celebration took place in America, 15 years before New Orleans was even a city. Following this line of events, and the complex issue of race in the south, the documentary follows the progression of the season as the two commissions prepare to throw their annual Mardis Gras celebrations.

There is an interesting line drawn through history from the last known slave-importer in the US, to the young white girl that is to become Mobile's 2007 MCA queen, the line is also shown from the opposite side, where the same slave-importer brought the last ship of slaves into the US, only to burn the ship down with all the captures slaves aboard, to burn the "evidence" (meaning the slaves) and how that line of slaves escaped the boat and founded a run-down, poor section of town. The black queen also has ties to the same historical event, her ancestors came to America this way.

The film follows the two groups as they plan their parties, and try to wax philosophic throughout the film about the interaction between whites and blacks in the city. The white denziens, obviously ignorant in some cases, explain that the reason the Mardis Gras celebration remains the last vestige of segregation in America is because that's the way both races like it, it keeps the peace.

The black group, however, feels much differently, since they had to form their own committee to be part of the festivities. The film goes on to show the first social interactions between both queens and kings, when the black queen and king come to the coronation of the white king and queen, and are (sloppily) accepted and proudly presented as attending.

However, the two remain uncomfortable, and the alliance seems like it's for show if nothing else. However, the mood changes a bit when the white queen and king go to the black coronation ball, another first, and see that these people are just kids out trying to have fun much like they are.

Despite all of the talk throughout the film that will make you wince at the ignorance, in the end it shows that there is hope, the two races can bond, and that each generation is indeed taking a step forward from all that running their ancestors did so many years ago.

However, it's not all fun and happiness, feelings are hurt, and of course the white king has to open his ignorant mouth to spew pro-segregation philosophy, not even aware of the sound of his own ignorance.

A passionate, well made film, its power is derived from its timely editing, clear objectivity, and willingness to tackle a subject that still makes many people uncomfortable without shame or fear. Definitely one of the better documentaries in a while, it's a bit category specific, but the lesson is there for anyone who goes looking.

9.2/10
April 11, 2009
Fascinating documentary that hits a little too close to home, geographically-speaking.
April 5, 2009
Occasionally bogged down by it's broad subject matter, but still interesting view of Mardi Gras in the city where it all started. All the usual cliche excuses of why it is still so racially segregated are offered up by the white people, but the film still manages to treat everyone with respect and simply show how it is. A real eye opener as to why certain "traditions" are hard to make disappear.
March 15, 2009
Great documentary on the Mardi Gras festivities in Mobile, Alabama and how it exposes the divisions between the white and black societies of the city. Pretty eye-opening stuff.
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