The documentary The Order of Myths reveals historical traditions and social codes of segregated black and white Mardi Gras festivities in Mobile, Ala., in the past and present. Filmmaker Margaret Brown, a Mobile native and former Mardi Gras queen, colorfully portrays the centuries-old traditions of jeweled crowns and gowns, mystical masks and fanciful floats showcased in the parade.

But beyond the magnificent pageantry lies a major struggle between race and class. The Order of Myths explores the need for change, especially in the Deep South, where glimmers of progress occurred at the 2007 Ball, when both black and white kings and queens merged – a future hope, in shades of gray.

Grade: B

The Order of Myths releases in select theaters Aug. 8.