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Monday, April 18, 2011

Holy Week recommendation I : Chocolat

If you live in a place with a Catholic majority, you have to live with the Holy Week. This is the week that precedes Easter (when Jesus came back to life and became a zombie) and should be of preparation for such an important date (even though it's not a fixed date and changes depending on the lunar calendar (Pagans called, they want royalties for using their way of choosing dates for their rituals).

This is a Holy Week celebration in Spain.
Yes, I know it looks like something else.

Regardless of how it started, the problem is that everything around smells like incense and over-the-top holiness. But not everything is really that bad. I remember, as a schoolkid, I loved holy week since we got 2 days off (Good Thursday and Friday). Had I known that kids in the United States got the whole week off with a less pretentious name (Spring Break) it would have been really pissed off.

Another thing I had to live with was that locals TV stations would broadcast biblical films and cartoons. At that time I enjoyed them, I think because those were once-a-year films. Nowadays it's not funny anymore.

So if you live in that kind of environment, you might want to watch something less preachy. During these week I'll be updating daily with recommendations to have an entertaining and sane Holy Week.

Today's recommendation is Chocolat:

A woman and her daughter arrive to a conservative French town, desiring to open a candy store. The villagers get intrigued during the time she makes the preparations and when she does, some arrive, curious to know what she has to offer. The problem is, she opened her candy store during lent. And the conservative major (played by Alfred Molina) cannot accept that people might have some kind of pleasure (like eating delicious chocolate) during a time that is supposed to be of suffering.

At the same time, a group of gypsies (led by Johnny Depp) arrives to town. They set camp at the riverside, since they are usually shunned by the townspeople. However, they get along pretty well with the chocolate store owner, which infuriates the major and some other conservative villages even more, to the point of burning down their camp.

What? You are an atheist who doesn't celebrate catholic rituals and sells chocolate?
I'll crush you to death!

It's interesting how the protagonist is hinted to be an atheist. But more interesting is how her actions, while not disregarding of the village traditions, are viewed as threatening to the town's morality. While wrapped in a comedy/drama/romance format, it reflects very well how many believers feel about others who won't share their delusion or traditions.

So, go to the rental store, ask a friend, or get it from the internet (you know how, right?), this is a very nice film who would slip well as a family movie.

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Blasfema libremente

"Que esté permitido a cada uno pensar como quiera; pero que nunca le esté permitido perjudicar por su manera de pensar" Barón D'Holbach
"Let everyone be permitted to think as he pleases; but never let him be permitted to injure others for their manner of thinking" Barón D'Holbach