Femme Fatale: Feminism versus Patriarchy as portrayed in the movie Chocolat
The 2000 film, Chocolat directed by Lasse Hallström is not only another food-film in the rows of Hollywood movies but a film that embodies the taking hold of feminism in a patriarchal and repressed society. Set at the fictional, repressed village of Lansquenet-sous-Tannes, Chocolat tells the story of a young mother, played by Juliette Binoche, who arrives with her six-year-old daughter and opens La Chocolaterie Maya, a small chocolaterie in which her chocolate quickly begins to change the lives of the townspeople. The film started when an unwed mother, Vianne Rocher and her daughter, Anouk moved to the village on a Sunday. The villagers, being pious, or trying to be, was at the church attending mas, as this was the custom of their village which is strictly following the orders of the Catholic Church. As a new villager, Vianne was invited by the mayor to attend the mass but she declined. Not only that but Vianne, in her daring and fabulous clothes, that were not acceptable on Lenten season, challenged traditions by opening a chocolaterie in front of the Church and operated business on a Sunday. As a rule of the village, taken from the Church, chocolates are a form of indulgence and temptation and cannot be eaten during Lent so the mayor, in order to restrict his villagers to go and get some of the chocolates in Vianne’s shop, he bad-mouthed her and even went to point out Vianne as “Satan’s helper” in one of the resident priest’s homily in which he also had the final say. However, despite his precautions, some people, out of curiosity and human nature came to taste the chocolates and went back for more because of the good things that happened to their lives because of the chocolates (e.g. an aphrodisiac for a married couple who were lacking in sexual passion). She also helped a local woman who was being beaten by her husband to escape the cruelty by leaving her husband and lived with...
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