The award winning documentary, Mardi Gras: Made in China, swiftly follows the path of Mardi Gras beads from the naked streets of New Orleans during Carnival, where revelers party 24/7, to the disciplined factories in Fuzhou, China, where teenage laborers live and thread beads 24/7. Told with humor and curiosity, Mardi Gras: Made in China provides a global connection by introducing workers and revelers to each other through a disposable commodity: Mardi Gras beads.
In 2002, David Redmon decided to make Mardi Gras: Made in China (61 minutes) after reading articles about China’s rapid transformation into a capitalist, free market economy. Redmon wanted to follow one object from China to the United States in order to visually personalize globalization and illustrate how the commodity chain is connected to different people along the alienated and seemingly disconnected route. Out of curiosity and seduction, Redmon chose Mardi Gras beads as the object to analyze "from the factory to the festival."
Redmon followed his bead-trail of curiosity to the rural region of Fuzhou, China where the bead factory is located in a tax-free Special Economic Zone. After staying with the workers and documenting their everyday life inside a factory compound for two months, government officials in China requested that Redmon immediately leave the factory. Redmon left China and continued his bead-journey by following the bead trail to New Orleans during Carnival. Redmon’s purpose was to invite others to be part of a constructive debate about globalization by showing how the beads are transported, consumed, disposed, and recycled during their global journey.
Winner of 18 domestic (U.S.) and International awards; Nominated for Grand Jury Prize for Best Documentary at the Sundance Film Festival
Visit the filmmakers at Carnivalesque Films
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