CHOCOLAT
1988, Janus Films, 105 min, France/West Germany/Cameroon, Dir: Claire Denis

First-time director Claire Denis became known as a bold new auteur virtually overnight with this Palme d'Or-nominated masterpiece set in the plains of Cameroon in Central Africa. Among the finest debuts of all time, CHOCOLAT presents a rich tapestry of memories as a French woman recounts her youth growing up on a colonial outpost. Told through a distinct visual style that captures the physical textures of the environment and its people, the flashbacks center on the woman’s fond memories of the family houseboy, who acted as the child’s sole source of wisdom and comfort in an otherwise corrupt social world. Starring Isaach De Bankolé and Giulia Boschi.


THE INTOUCHABLES
2011, The Weinstein Company, 112 min, France, Dir: Olivier Nakache, Eric Toledano

In this sparkling comedy, Philippe (Francois Cluzet) is a wealthy quadriplegic looking for a new live-in caretaker. Senegalese immigrant Driss (Omar Sy, who earned a Best Actor Cesar for this role) seems an unlikely choice at first, but because he treats his new employer without pity, the two hit it off. Their widely different backgrounds offer each a window into a new world: Driss experiences art and culture, and Philippe, encouraged by his young friend, brings a woman into his life. A major box office hit throughout Europe! In French with English subtitles.


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