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Chocolat

Semi-autobiographical debut film by Claire Denis (Beau Travail) about a young Frenchwoman who returns to the place in Cameroon where she lived as a little girl.

Classic
Please note that this film is in French, English, Hausa and Arabic, with Dutch subtitles.
Time & Tickets

Misunderstandings are likely and so we just warn in advance: this is not the romantic fairy tale so successful at Lumière at the time, starring Johnny Depp and Juliette Binoche, but an earlier film with the same title.

Claire Denis drew on her own childhood experiences growing up in colonial French Africa for her multi-layered, laid-back but captivating feature debut, which explores many of the themes that would recur throughout her work. Returning to the town in Cameroon where she grew up after many years living in France, a white woman reflects on her relationship with Protée, a black servant with whom she formed a friendship while not fully grasping the racial divides that governed their worlds.

Characteristic of Denis is her subtle approach to this theme. All the stylistic features of her later films (L'INTRUS, 35 RHUMS) - tightly framed images, a non-linear storyline, sparse dialogue - are already visible in CHOCOLAT. The film was selected for the competition at Cannes, something that is rare for debut films.

Claire Denis, France, West Germany, Cameroon, 1988, 105 min. French, English, Arabic & Hausa spoken, Dutch subtitles. With Isaach De Bankolé, Mireille Perrier, Giulia Boschi, François Cluzet, Jean-Claude Adelin..