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By Invitation Only

by Rebecca Snedeker

A brave critique of an alluring family tradition

New Orleans filmmaker Rebecca Snedeker explores the insular world of the elite, white Carnival societies and debutante balls of Mardi Gras. Questioning their racial exclusivity, she takes an unprecedented insider's look at the pageantry and asks: what does it mean to be the queen of the masked men? As she examines her own place in an alluring tradition, Snedeker challenges viewers to reflect on the roles we all play in our lives. Ideal for courses in gender studies, sociology, anthropology, american studies, multicultural studies, southern history and psychology.

quoteFor anyone who wants to understand racism and white privilege, this film is a must-see.
Ron Chisom, Co-Founder and Executive Director, The People's Institute for Survival and Beyond

quoteBy Invitation Only' is a brilliant, and utterly unique examination of class and race privilege, and shows us just how deeply embedded are the structures of entitlement and expectation for members of the ruling class, not only in New Orleans, frankly, but nationwide. Most importantly, Rebecca Snedeker explores the ways in which this system not only dehumanizes those who stand outside of it, but even those for whom its benefits were intended. For those who seek an understanding of what was broken with the American class and race systems, long before Hurricane Katrina, 'By Invitation Only' is a fantastic place to start.
Tim Wise
Author, White Like Me: Reflections on Race From a Privileged Son

Peggy McIntosh
Associate Director, Wellesley Centers for Women
Author, "White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack"
full review

Gerald Peary
The Boston Phoenix
full review

Abby Ferber
Professor of Womens Studies and Sociology, University of Colorado
Author/Editor, Privilege: A Reader
full review


  • Full Frame Documentary Film Festival
  • National PBS Broadcast
  • New Orleans Film Festival
  • American Sociological Association
  • White Privilege Conference

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Appropriate for: High School College/University