Conflict Resolution Studies (Review of Film Chocolat)

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Conflict Resolution Studies
Take Home Exam – "Chocolat"


The character of choice when analyzing conflict in the film Chocolat is Vianne (The world famous Juliette Binoche). Vianne is the mother of a small girl named Anouk who moves to a small town in France to open a "Chocolaterie" or a chocolate store. While there Vianne changes the views of a town and its people while dealing with conflict at every turn. The best way to understand Vianne and her conflict is to follow the guide and questions below which open up insights to the movie and its star.

1.What is Vianne's perspectives/lenses on conflict ?

Vianne shows herself to be a very kind and loving woman. Not only is the nature of her business to find out the desires of her customers and help them come true but to share love with those around her. This is echoed in the way she views conflict. When she sees others in conflict she remains open and looks to meet the challenge. When she herself is in conflict (for example when she finds out the Compte de Raynaud is badmouthing her and her non Christina ways) she seeks out the person whom she is in conflict with and attempts to deal with it. The results may send her off kicking a statue in the short turn but Vianne stays steadfast in her belief of dealing with problems and dealing with them to benefit all involved and to create happiness for those involved. Thus I would say that Vianne has an open lens and enjoys her ability to see other people through various lenses not just her own.

2.What goals does that character have in the movie, which of their goals come into conflict with other peoples goals? Explain.

Vianne's goals are to sell chocolate and support her daughter and business. More important to that though is the underlying reason why Vianne sells chocolate. She knows that she can affect people for the better with her product. She knows her product is more than candy but a way for people to bridge gaps in their lives and find happiness. Vianne tries to set up widowers, she ignites passion in her customer's lives, and she even tries to bring a grandmother and her grandson together in the hopes of saving relationships and family.

The conflict with other people's goals is that the town is very religious. The bible and the mayor would have the town believing that the chocolates and what they bring are blasphemous. That Vianne and her un-fathered child are evil and that the answers to loving life can all be found with the church and the Christian way.

3.What power does this character have? Lack? How do they express their power?

Vianne has many powers. She is able to communicate strongly with those around her. This allows her to befriend certain tight collared types who other wise wouldn't talk to others. This also allows her to read between the lines with her customers. Gleaning keen information that they are not willing to talk about and thus lending her the ability to see hidden problems. Vianne translates this into good advice and chocolate that does more than satisfy cravings of hunger but cravings of the soul as well.

Vianne also posses currencies in patience. Moving to a new town to open shop. The move to a small religious town with a child and no father is brave and shows how strong her personality and resolve are. Vianne's power currencies also stem from friendship at the end of the movie when the town realize she has done actions of good not evil and that she cares for each of them greatly, a felling that is eventually returned.

4.What is that character's main style(s)? How do you know?

The characters main style is to face everything head on. Not only is it the nature of her life but her conflict solving as well. To be a single mother in Europe requires a certain lack of fear and courage both displayed in heaps by Vianne through out the movie. When ever there seems to be a moment of challenge she meets it head on and does what is best for her, her daughter and...
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