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Article on Critical, Theological Overview of This Film Chocolat

Assignment id 1011964
Discipline Self Improvement
Assignment type Essay
Words 3488
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Set in 1950's France, Chocolat is a film centred on the Catholic virtue of temperance, or rather the struggle to achieve temperance once the church is confronted with the temptation of a 2000 year-old chocolate recipe. Temperance is defined in the catholic encyclopaedia as "the righteous habit that makes a guy govern his natural appetite for delights of the senses in agreement with the standard prescribed by motive", and in Chocolat it is the Comte de Reynaud, the major and self appointed moral jurisdiction for the entire community, that attempts to keep check of the villager's carnal passions and temptations. There's an obvious conflict between the Comte and Vianne Rocher, the only mother who arrives in Lansquenet bringing a splash of red to the dreary black and white town, who finally through her chocolates breathes life to the town's dead system the Comte had gone into great lengths to conserve. Religious themes such as temperance, penance and reconciliation are central to how the movie works as a movie, and clearly demonstrate how it is highly conducive to theological exploration. The theological theme that I am going to investigate in more detail is that the Catholic sacrament of Confession and Penance, taking under consideration the relationship between the traditional Catholic perspective of confession and the ideas of this sacrament I bring to the movie as a viewer. As the story opens, Vianne and Anouk are carried by a strong north wind into a small, quiet village in France throughout the year 1959. Probably the wind motif, which is constant throughout the film, is a parable for the theological theme of the Holy Spirit, acting like the principle force that has drawn Vianne into the village. The end might also be perceived as representing the...

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