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Jennifer Merin

A Spectacular Trio of Documentaries for Mardi Gras

By February 21, 2012

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Mardi Gras comes but once a year, but it's a grand celebration with a long history and a huge collection of stories.

Three beautiful documentaries that present the history and stories behind the spectacle are must-see additions to any Mardi Gras celebration.

In alphabetical order, they are:

  • Order of Myths - Margaret Brown's documentary traces the history of Mardi Gras in Mobile, Alabama, the filmmaker's hometown, where 'mystic' parading began 13 years before the city of New Orleans was founded, and where the celebration just recently became racially integrated.
  • The Sons of Tennessee Williams - Tim Wolfe's documentary shows how gay Mardi Gras krewes presented gloriously elaborate drag parades and balls that became the hottest tickets in town, challenging local laws against homosexually long before the issue of equal rights for gays and lesbians was officially out in New Orleans.
  • Tootie's Last Suit - Filmmaker Lisa Katzman follows African-American Mardi Gras 'Indians' in their battle to determine whose costume is 'prettiest.' The film, one of my personal favorites, reveals the history of a specific Mardi Gras tradition, and focuses on the heated rivalry that it calls out between father and son.

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