Popular Culture and Cultural Politics

Chocolat: A gentle endorsement of change

June 2001

It is easy to view Lasse Hallstrom’s movie Chocolat as a light and tasty treat. It is a fanciful story about a 1959 traditional French village transformed by the opening of “Chocolaterie Maya.”

Well, it is simple—like a fairy tale. Taken for what it is, a morality tale with social types standing in for contemporary social issues, it is a charming fable with and easy-to-taste moral about the forces of modernization and the liberalization of tradition as the best response.

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