Can Dialectics Break Bricks Cinema: Chocolat (Claire Denis, 1988)

Sunday July 14, 2024, Can Dialectics Break Bricks Cinema: CHOCOLAT * 1988 * Directed by Claire Denis * 105 minutes * In French with English subtitles * free screening * doors open at 8.30 * intro and film start at 9:00.

French Director Claire Denis grew up in west Africa, where her father was a civil servant. The family moved to a different country in Africa every several years because they wanted her to understand culture and geography. This is why much of her work deals with the spiritual and psychological impact of colonialism, especially in West Africa. This was her debut film, and it is about a French woman reflecting on her childhood in a colonial outpost in French Cameroon as a 7-year old girl.
So as you might expect the film is largely autobiographical, recounting her own memories and emotions while she was growing up, and in this case the film has a special focus on her relationship with her family’s African servant.
This film isn’t restless, like so many movies today. It sinks into the world of west Africa, and moves at an ambient pace… allowing sensuality to surface. The film is about identity, memories, and a romance that tries to navigate racism and complicated social structures. This is different from a Hollywood film also because it doesn’t try to exploit our emotions and treat us like children by making things black-and-white. Instead it is a film full of mystery.

Film night at Joe’s Garage, cozy cinema! Free entrance. You want to screen a movie, let us know: joe [at] lists [dot] squat [dot] net