Chocolat

Feature Film | FR, DE, CM 1988 | 105’ | OV with English subs

Her 1988 debut already contains many of the trademark themes and stylistic devices that Claire Denis then went on to exhaustively explore for several decades. From the critical view of the colonial past, to her intimate portraits of contradictory characters in exceptional situations, to the plain minimalism of her cinematic language, CHOCOLAT is prototypical for her oeuvre. In search of lost time, antihero France (Mireille Perrier) is drawn to then present-day Cameroon in the 1980s, where she seeks to trace her early years in the waning colonial period. Flashbacks eventually make memories of her late 1950s childhood come alive. The faint twilight of nostalgia and its romantic tinge are soon dispersed by a sobering reflection on the French »adventure« in this faraway place, as the protagonist becomes aware of her earlier wanton disregard for the chasms of racism and class, which are now revealed to be integral to her carefree years.

Director
Claire Denis
Cast
Jean-Claude Adelin, Isaach de Bankolé, Essindi Mindja, Mireille Perrier
Script
Claire Denis, Jean-Pol Fargeau
Producers
Alain Belmondo, Jean-Paul Belmondo, Gérard Crosnier
Photography
Robert Alazraki
Editors
Monica Coleman, Claudine Merlin, Sylvie Quester
Sound
Dominique Hennequin, Jean-Louis Ughetto
Production Design
Thierry Flamand
Costumes
Marthe Ndome

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Selected filmography Claire Denis

NÉNETTE ET BONI (1996), BEAU TRAVAIL (1999), TROUBLE EVERY DAY (2001), THE INTRUDER (2004), 35 RUM (2008), WHITE MATERIAL (2009), LES SALAUDS (2013)