The Order of Myths 

Reviewer's grade: B+

"The Order of Myths," a compelling documentary that explores the tradition of Mardi Gras in Mobile, Ala., a town proud that its Carnival long predates the annual festival in New Orleans. Oh, one more thing about Mobile's Mardi Gras: There are two of everything, from its ball and parade, to the coronation of a king and queen. For as long as anyone can remember, the city has boasted two celebrations "? one for whites, and one for blacks.

"The Order of Myths" screens Thursday through Sunday at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art. Brown will speak at the Thursday night showing. As a Mobile native with a personal connection to that city's Mardi Gras, the 37-year-old filmmaker was uniquely suited to tell this story of modern-day segregation. Perhaps the most surprising aspect of "Order of Myths" is how measured it is, both in tone and temperament of the people it follows.

The segregated rituals captured on-screen are outrageous, but no one appears too outraged. Affluent white Carnival organizers insist that the black residents prefer things this way. The tradition is so entrenched in Mobile, it doesn't seem to inspire much in the community, black or white, beyond a few shrugs. NR

"?Phil Bacharach

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