Creepy masks, boozy baths and chicken chases: the mayhem of Courir de Mardi Gras
For many, Mardi Gras is synonymous with beads, brass bands and elaborate parades down New Orleans’s famed Bourbon Street. But travel to rural Cajun country in Louisiana on Fat Tuesday, and you’ll find a very different celebration. Based on a traditional French begging procession, Courir de Mardi Gras (Cajun French for ‘Mardi Gras run’) involves revellers donning tattered, homemade costumes and grotesque masks to beg ingredients for a communal meal. Music, booze and chicken chases play a not-insignificant role in the festivities as well. In this short observational documentary, whose name comes from the Cajun for ‘dangerous carousing’, the US directors Donal Mosher and Michael Palmieri chronicle the celebration in all its raucous, peculiar glory.