Chocolat (2016 film)

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Chocolat 2016.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byRoschdy Zem
Produced byÉric Altmayer
Nicolas Altmayer
Written byRoschdy Zem
Cyril Gely
Olivier Gorce
Gérard Noiriel
Based onChocolat, clown nègre. L'histoire oubliée du premier artiste noir de la scène française
by Gérard Noiriel
StarringOmar Sy
James Thiérrée
Music byGabriel Yared
CinematographyThomas Letellier
Edited byMonica Coleman
Distributed byGaumont
Release date
  • 3 February 2016 (2016-02-03)
Running time
110 minutes
Budget$18.5 million[1]
Box office$14.9 million[2]

Chocolat is a 2016 French drama film directed by Roschdy Zem and starring Omar Sy and James Thiérrée.


The clown Chocolat (Omar Sy) becomes, in 1886, the first black artist of the French scene.


In 1897, a black man named Kananga, the son of former slave Cuba, plays a small role in the modest circus Delvaux. George Foottit, a white clown, is asked by the director to bring up their numbers. He gets the idea to have an act with Kananga; a white authoritative clown and a black scapegoat named Chocolat.

They are well received and the word spreads through France, reaching Joseph Oller, director of the Nouveau Cirque. He asks Foottit and Chocolat to take their show to his Parisian establishment. The success is immediate, and Chocolat becomes the first famous black clown. The success stirs envy in his previous employer's wife. She denounces him for being in France illegally.

Chocolat is arrested and tortured by the police. "A negro always remains a negro," the police commander tells Chocolat when he releases him. While the humiliation in the circus act is staged for humorous effect, the racism Chocolat encounters in France grinds him down. Chocolat is both celebrated as a star and made into a racial caricature. This becomes strikingly apparent when the poster for the show depicts Chocolat with the face of an ape. Faced with the hypocrisy of French society, he gives himself up to gambling and women. At the end of his life, Chocolat falls into obscurity and dies of illness.

Historical accuracy[edit]

The film is only loosely based on the real life of Rafael Padilla,[3] son of a slave from Cuba, a Spanish colony at the time.


Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reports a 100% approval rating based on 22 reviews, with a weighted average of 7.05/10.[4]



Premio / Pelicula Festival Categoria Reconocidos y nominaciones Resultados
Premios César Mejor Actor Omar Sy Nominated
Mejor Actor Secundario James Thiérrée Nominated
Mejor Sonido Brigitte Taillandier, Vincent Guillon and Stéphane Thiébaut Nominated
Mejor Música Original Gabriel Yared Nominated
Mejor Diseño de Producción Jérémie D. Lignol Won
Premios Globos de Cristal Mejor Pelicula Won
Mejor Actor Omar Sy Won
Premios Lumières Mejor Actor Omar Sy Nominated
James Thiérrée Nominated


  1. ^ "Chocolat (2016)". JP's Box-Office.
  2. ^ "Chocolat". Box Office Mojo.
  3. ^ Michel, Nicolas (29 January 2015). "Cinéma : ce qui est vrai, ce qui est faux dans " Chocolat ", le film de Roschdy Zem" (in French).
  4. ^ "Chocolat". Rotten Tomatoes.

External links[edit]