DIRECTED BY MICHAEL ALLCOCK
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Chocolate is the most popular candy on earth. We think of
it as decadent, sensual, and romantic.
But chocolate?s story isn?t all sunshine and sweetness.
SEMISWEET: LIFE IN CHOCOLATE, traces the stories of four
very different groups of people on three continents whose
lives are intrinsically wrapped up in the complex world of
chocolate. Although their paths have never directly
crossed, the lives of all these people are interwoven
through their unique and personal relationship with
chocolate. It?s a world that, seen altogether, is
SEMISWEET takes us from the hyper-commercial chocolate
company town of Hershey, Pennsylvania to the frozen lakes
of Ontario?s cottage country, and from the busy streets of
ultra-chic Paris to the heat of the impoverished West
African countryside of Cote D?Ivoire, as we follow the
unique journeys of people whose lives have been
transformed, each in quite distinct ways, by chocolate.
Filmmaker Michael Allcock, a multiple Gemini Award nominee
for both writing and directing: ?Chocolate is more than
just something you bite into. It can change who you are,
what you do, and where you live. It can change the way you
see the world. It might even save your life.?
Near Haliburton, Ontario, husband-and-wife team Ron and
Nadine are grinding and roasting cacao beans in the manner
of the ancient Mayans and Aztecs, who considered cacao to
be a magical, divine, healing substance ? the Food of the
Gods. The couple creates unique handmade chocolates they
believe can save the planet ? and even beyond. So far,
Woody Harrelson and Sting are among the believers amongst
In Hershey, Pennsylvania, Jonathan fancies himself a
modern-day Charlie in the chocolate factory. For this 4th
generation Hershey employee ? who lives in a house wedged
between the Hershey factory and the Hershey zoo and where
the city air smells like chocolate 24/7 ? every day is
In West Africa, Noufou and Mamoutou are considered lucky.
Recently, they both came back from working on the cacao
plantations in Côte d?Ivoire that supply the world with
over 35% of its chocolate. Why are they considered lucky?
Because they came back alive. And would you believe
neither has ever tasted chocolate ever?!
Meanwhile, in Paris, world-renowned chocolatier Patrick
Roger is busy creating his latest masterpiece ? a
150-pound chocolate sculpture of an orangutan that he
hopes will raise public awareness and can save the rain
forests of Borneo.
By turns poignant, tragic, quirky and darkly humorous, and
always perceptive, informative and engaging, SEMISWEET:
LIFE IN CHOCOLATE offers a global glimpse at a diverse
group of people whose lives have all been transformed in
quite different ways by the sweet confection we crave. The
elements of sweetness and bitterness in that story mirror
the semisweet nature of chocolate itself.
One thing seems certain: after seeing SEMISWEET you?ll
never feel quite the same about chocolate.
SEMISWEET: LIFE IN CHOCOLATE is the documentary part of a
larger transmedia project called ?Choco-Locate? which
includes an iPhone app and mobile website that helps
consumers locate chocolate according to their preferences.
The website http://choco-locate.com/ extends the viewing
experience through articles, facts and background blogs
about the making of the documentary.