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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.

2008, IFC Films, 104 min, France, Dir: Josiane Balasko

Marco (Éric Caravaca) is a construction worker whose wife (Isabelle Carré) owns a beauty salon. When business dries up for both of them, Marco begins moonlighting as an escort - but main client Judith (Nathalie Baye) may be looking for more than sex from him. Both humorous and tender, with appealing performances from all three leads (and writer-director Balasko as Judith’s sister). In French and English with English subtitles.

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