Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The Movie "Chocolat" Originally posted in 2000

                       On Seeing the Movie “Chocolat.”

Is the mission of the Great Media society to move the masses away from their “superstitions and bigotries” to the bright and clear New Age where everyone loves one another without the restrictions of the God-thing   and traditional values?  Rarely have I been so struck by such blatant misuse of the powerful medium of modern film as I was yesterday (2/17/01) on seeing the movie   “Chocolat.”

A beautiful unmarried woman arrives in a quiet village with her daughter driven by some kind of mystical and poetic “ North wind” which speaks to her about her mission to travel around the world and  “Save” people from themselves and their chains of  “faith.” She is presented as sweet and loving and tolerant but who blatantly and calmly announces to the villagers that she does not worship as they do. She proceeds to “free” them  (read: seduce) through chocolates which are subtly laced with a narcotic mixture she brought with her from central    America where she herself was born illegitimately from a French father and a free loving Indian mother.

She is presented as normal and balanced while everyone else is rigid, fearful, Unloving and hypocritical. The Count of the village who tries to keep alive the traditions of the Faith and country, is presented as a priggish, phony and dominating tyrant whose own wife (who never appears in the film but is referred to occasionally) has left him and his loveless way of life.  A young mother, grieving for her dead husband, tries to raise her son in an upright and traditional manner but is presented as stiff, bigoted and straightjacketed. Her son is depicted as repressed by mother, certainly   unhappy and a loner. Of course, our Missionary woman saves him through chocolate and loving acceptance. She even has him reconcile to his grandmother who, herself, has been an outcast from society because she dared to reject the faith and Catholic tradition.
Our missionary lady alone shows compassion and by chocolates and love brings this old lady to a peaceful and integrated end of her life. She rescues a poor beaten wife from her lout of a husband who just snores away in a rocking chair and who expects his wife to prepare his meals and be available when, in a drunken stupor, he wants sex. He beats her brutally but our brave missionary takes her into the chocolate shop and in an incredibly short time transforms this near psychotic woman into a charming, intelligent and productive human being.

The parish priest is presented as a total wimp, utterly dominated by the Count and who wanders through the film wide eyed, apparently mystified by the whole panorama of life so much so that he forgets to give absolution to penitents and almost terrified, loudly slams the confessional panel after giving mechanical penances. The confessional sequences are presented   in such a way that the practice is shown to be a farce.

The brave new woman coaches a shy older man to pursue his interest in an older woman and lo and behold again she is successful. She is now transforming the village from a world of darkness into the beautiful clarity of the  “ new age.”
An Irish drifter on a ragtag boat enters the village life via a nearby river. He, too, rebels against society strumming the inevitable guitar. He is presented as balanced and charming—and while nicely stating his non-faith in tradition, articulates the beauty of “ freedom.”  He and our lady friend, of course, sack out   in a loving and interpersonal fashion as all good New Agers should do—without any restriction of “ morality” or faith. And of course, he is IRISH representing the best New Gaels, now free of the shackles and guilts of the  “Older generation.”

But the nasty old Count has someone burn the boat in awful Nazi like style and again—see how the faith people act—how intolerant they are—how repressed they are—how really unhappy they are--- oh—how good it is have the New Light driven by the North wind !  Even the count himself, after a Lent of abstinence breaks into the chocolate shop   and binges on the sweets until he falls asleep as if in a drunken stupor. Our noble New age redeemer finds him, smiles understandingly, forgives him and promises to tell no one.

Her victory is complete, because it is EASTER SUNDAY. She throws a huge party right in front of the church to celebrate the pagan feast of spring. The mounds of chocolate which a grateful townspeople has helped her prepare during the night become the basis of  joy and happiness and freedom and light. We even have a Druid-like priestess dancing around the “Maypole” with flowing white gossamer veils. The Count is incredibly and quickly cleaned up from his binge and he smiles at his Redemptrix who sweetly encourages him. The wimpy priest is there  (not in the church, of course) drinking a little glass of wine while he sports his soutane in support  of the New Faith. Meanwhile the North wind tells her to STAY here and Don’t Move!   How happy that makes everyone!

The picture mocks the supernatural, the Christian faith, any faith. It smacks of devil worship as the lady becomes God. It has a slight message of lesbianism. It is a totally pagan presentation using valid concepts like tolerance, freedom, dignity and love and divorcing them from religion as we know it.  It dares to make such a presentation because, in fact, this is where many people are at!—There was enough   support for this distortion  that it received  nominations for awards from the Academy.  The acting is, of course, top level. The producers have the money to hire capable people for a goal----to de-Christianize society. Nothing is forbidden. Do what you want. There is no God. No after life. No morality.  Just be nice and smile and give people narcotic laced candies and all will be well. Let us live in LaLa land. But don’t tell me the truth.   God be with us when such powerful crypto-pagans rule the media. Rudy Guilani looks better to me every day.

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