MARDI GRAS: MADE IN CHINA
David Redmon (China/ USA) 62'
Mardi Gras: Made in China is a story of globalization told through
humor and sadness, hope and violence by various characters including
the owner of a bead factory in China, the largest Mardi Gras bead
distributor in the world; Carnival revelers who exchange beads during
Mardi Gras and four teenage workers in China who make Mardi Gras beads.
By confronting an increasingly globalized world where consumers and
producers are alienated from each other, the film attempts to re-establish
human connections through curiosity and humor as it renders visible
the seemingly invisible bead trail from the factory to the festival.
Viewers are swept into a whirlwind of action, where drunk revelers
exchange beads for nudity during Carnival and are asked to guess who
made them. Eventually, workers and revelers vicariously encounter
each other through the medium of images when the filmmaker projects
the documentary on the walls of Bourbon Street during Carnival to
obtain reactions and share conversations with revelers. Simultaneously,
the filmmaker passes out photographs of revelers exchanging beads
during Mardi Gras to workers in the factory. Suddenly, revelers and
factory workers encounter each other for the first time, as both attempt
to understand each others‚ motivations.
Mardi Gras: Made in China was David Redmon‚s first film. During
the course of researching a film on the "Girls Gone Wild"
phenomenon, he became fascinated with the idea of connecting the drunken
revelers who toss brightly colored beads in the streets of New Orleans
to the teenage girls who make them at a factory in China. Redmon is
professor of sociology currently teaching at the Pratt Institute in
Brooklyn, New York. He has worked on a second documentary film about
a young woman who makes Victoria‚s Secret bras in Mexico. The
film explores the concept of "intimacy."
Co-presented with the National Asian American Telecommunications Association