The movie “Chocolat” is one of my favorites and from my point of view can serve as an ideal communication manual. It is frequently discussed in our trainings in great detail, especially with sales people. Not only does this film highlight the basic elements of effective communication but also illustrates what mistakes we may make during this process along with ensuing consequences.
I utilize a vast collection of movies in my psychotherapy practice when working with personal problems (I call it cinema coaching) and in trainings as a visual aid (I call it at-home cinema reviews). The movie “Chocolate” is multidimensional as are other diverse an useful films, namely Forest Gump, Groundhog Day, Terminal, Big Fish, Erin Brokovich and others. Movies should be watched in a special way and separate instructions are provided for each viewing.
With respect to the movie “Chocolat” I would like to emphasize a few important points. Starting with the main character of Wien (Juliet Binoche), rarely is she not smiling in this movie. When she does smile, it is even more than that, the radiance of her face fashions an expression that the Dalai Lama called “something that affects very important part of us — our innate receptivity to kindness.” Our body language training studies the power of the smile based on the material of the American psychologist Paul Ekman, who incidentally identified 19 types of smiles. Take a closer look at Wien, who conquered the whole city with her smile.
Also focus on her great ability to empathize, which is the ability to understand, accept and show compassion. It is generally believed that we are all born with this qualities. Remember that, babies who, after hearing the crying of another baby, begin to cry themselves. Nevertheless, in the process of growing up many of us loose these quality. As for our training program, in some classes we intentionally return the group members to their childhood experience, creating a surreal environment where they may re-unite with their emotional sensitivity.
Another, secondary role, but no less important, belongs to Josephine (Lena Olin). There are many important and instructive moments connected with her character but there is one in particular I would like to address. Throughout the film, Josephine undergoes transformation from a social outcast to a person who can stand up for herself, make independent decisions and find new friends. With her example, one can trace the steps of a person’s exit from the shell of loneliness into social competency. When watching this movie, try to ascertain the exact moment of this transition and think of what prevented Josephine from doing this earlier on. As well try to answer the following — What is there in common between the chocolate shop and Josephine? and How does it relate to social competency? Send your answers to our email and receive a two-hour video lesson as a gift for correctly answering both.