In 2007 Mobile, Alabama, Mardi Gras is celebrated... and complicated. Following a cast of characters, parades, and parties across an enduring color line, we see that beneath the surface of pageantry lies something else altogether.
A documentary on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion as seen through the eyes of oil executives, survivors and Gulf Coast residents who experienced it first-hand and then were left to pick up the pieces while the world moved on.
Mobile, Alabama, 2007: the oldest Mardi Gras in the United States is a study in Black and White. Groups prepare coronations, parades, balls, and revelry. White and Black communities have separate royal courts and separate events. People comment on these vestiges of segregation, some critical and some okay with it. The Black king and queen come to the coronation of the White royal couple, and the White king and queen join the celebration at the Comrades party, a primarily Black event. City patriarchs agree to do more together, and the city's youth seem to want more interaction as well. The film explores possible contradictions between preserving traditions and putting the old Mobile behind them.Written by
This was a great film and quite illuminating. Technically, it was very well made. The editors of the film deserve a lot of praise - being able to pull out so many nuanced details, from real life nonetheless!, and piece them together into an overarching story that coalesced so well is no small feat. For that alone they deserve much praise.
The storyline itself is fascinating - an in-depth analysis of Mobile, Alabama's segregated Mardi Gras celebrations. I agree with another reviewer who said that the class aspects deserved more analysis (but perhaps that would have bogged down the message?).
I can't help but walk away from this movie (and the Q&A) feeling like the black people of this town are pleading (screaming if they could), to have the white people just TALK to them about the need for better integration. But the whites just keep turning a deaf ear to them. During the Q&A, almost every black person who stood up to talk into the mic (on stage and in the audience), brought up this need to TALK about the issue. And almost every white person who spoke up ignored these requests. The whites in the audience asked about the technical aspects of the film, congratulated the filmmaker - one man clearly tried to start a conversation by asking the filmmaker's intent, but even he fell flat because he wasn't pointed enough. Even the self-described liberal woman of the high-society group didn't acknowledge these requests to talk. Instead she rambled on and on about superficial things that were important to *her* (like how it felt to have a camera stuck in her face). The filmmaker herself also wouldn't talk a firm stand on where she stood. And that's a damn shame, because let's face it - the white people of this town are the ones who have the power. They are the ones who need to step it up. Over and over in the film, we heard the black people saying they WANT to integrate. Any statements opposing this were all hearsay - never once a black person say on camera that they didn't want to.
So as it stands, it is up to the white people of this town to respond. And I hope they do.
0 of 1 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this