Outsourcing Mardi Gras

From the factories of China to the streets of New Orleans, "Mardi Gras: Made in China" shows a different perspective on the obscured origin of the carnival season’s most ubiquitous linchpin–its beads.

Mardi Gras: Made in China - Monday, Jan. 26 @ Vermilionville

Mardi Gras: Made in China follows the extensive path of the famous Mardi Gras beads from the streets of the French Quarter in New Orleans at the height of Fat Tuesday where revelers party and catch beads along the Crescent City’s innumerable parade routes, to the authoritarian factories of Fuzhou, China where teenage girls live and sew beads together day and night.

This enlightening examination of cultural and economic globalization from documentary filmmaker David Redmon investigates the low wages and substandard conditions endured by the factory's workers, many of whom are young women, through candid interviews with both the Chinese workers and the Mardi Gras crowd to reveal the vast economic and cultural chasm between the two. Blending curiosity with comedy, Mardi Gras: Made in China is the only film to explore how the toxic products directly affect the people who both make them and consume them.

The screening is part of Vermilionville’s Les Vues Film Series, which is a free monthly cultural film series that is curated by filmmakers and enthusiasts from around the state who choose a film that centers around their interests and range from feature films to documentaries, student films, shorts, animation and more. After the screenings, the curator hosts a Q & A with the audience about the movie and how it applies on a local level.

Mardi Gras: Made in China will be curated by John Sharp who serves as the assistant director for research at the Center for Louisiana Studies at UL Lafayette. Sharp is also a documentary filmmaker and folklorist whose recent works include Louisiana Dance Halls, for which he won the 2012 Louisiana Filmmaker award from Louisiana Economic Development.

The Les Vues Film Series will screen Mardi Gras: Made in China on Monday, Jan. 26, at 6:30 p.m., in the Performance Center at Vermilionville, located at 300 Fisher Road. Admission to the film series is free, but a suggested $5 donation will go towards screening and curating costs. Refreshments will be available for purchase for this all ages free film series. For more information visit Vermilionville.org or call (337) 233-4077.