You’ve heard of shock-umentaries, documentaries made not so much to inform or expose but to leave the viewer with a WTF expression. But what about a choc-umentary? Yes, a film all about the ins and outs of chocolate. Chris Osburn went along to the film’s UK premiere screening at Chocolate Week.
Nothing Like Chocolate is: a Kickstarter funded, independent film by Kum-Kum Bhavnani “exposing the practices and politics of how chocolate has moved worldwide from a sacred plant to corporate blasphemy”. So yeah, that sounds a bit preachy but moreover inspiring as it contrasts the global corporate chocolate trade with that of the Grenada Chocolate Company, a bean-to-bar cooperative on the small Caribbean island of Grenada.
Preachy or not, have you ever really thought about the process a simple bar of chocolate goes through on its way to your local shop’s shelf? Nothing Like Chocolate takes you through the steps. And what may indeed be shocking for most folks to find out is that there’s a lot of unfair labour (possibly even slavery) going on under the wrapper of way too many chocolate products. There is hope though, and a screening of Nothing Like Chocolate ultimately yields a feel-good factor as yummy as a bite into a piece of fine chocolate.
Narrated by Susan Sarandon, the movie centres around the work of “anarchist chocolatier” Mott Green and the Grenada Chocolate Company he co-founded in 1999. Offers an ethical and sustainable alternative to big biz chocolate, the Grenada Chocolate Company cuts out the middleman and the crap ingredients associated with so many of the big biz products. Ethics and sustainability aside, this worker-run cooperative also makes award winning, small batch fine chocolate using what’s considered to be some of the best cocoa available in the world. And even for viewers who could care less about chocolate (implausible as that seems), the kindly if iconoclastic Mott is a hoot of a hero with his friendly and frenetic demeanour. The green isle of Grenada is an enchantingly scenic backdrop too.
Nothing Like Chocolate had its UK premiere during Chocolate Week at the Ritzy in Brixton. The next time it’s to be screening is uncertain – but far from unlikely. According to filmmaker Bhavnani, if you (yes, anyone out there reading this right now) are interested in arranging a screening, “I’ve got a DVD for you”.
To find out more about this indie film with a big heart and how you can see it, check out nothinglikechocolate.com.
For more about The Grenada Chocolate Company (and a list of stockists) visit grenadachocolate.com.