Seattle International Film Festival presents...

Le Chocolat de H

  • Saturday, June 1, 2019 3:30PM
  • Adult: $15.00
  • Senior: $14.00

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When you think of artisanal chocolate-making, you might not think of Japan, but Hironobu Tsujiguchi could be the greatest living exponent of the art. And he does consider it an art—as much a vehicle for personal expression as a poem or a song, as Takashi Watanabe’s doc demonstrates. (The film takes its title from the name of Tsujiguchi’s shop in Tokyo’s Ginza district.) We follow him as he prepares for Paris’s annual Salon du Chocolat by searching out and incorporating the staples of traditional Japanese cuisine—sea salt, miso, mirin, rice flour, tea-plant stems—in honor of his heritage and specifically of his father, also a confectioner. (This backstory is told through charming re-enactments of his childhood memories, including his first culinary epiphany, a taste of whipped cream.) From these up-to-date experiments, Tsujiguchi also travels backwards, visiting Ecuador to sample the very pods on the cacao trees and share the end result, his award-winning jewel-like bonbons, with children in a nearby village. This isn’t a drama-filled story of a talented newbie clawing his way to the top—Tsujiguchi’s already won five Salon gold medals and is hoping for a sixth—but rather a lyrical portrait of an artist, loco about cocoa and treating ganache with panache, who’s exquisitely and innovatively married Japanese aesthetics to one of the West’s most adored treats.

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SIFF’s mission is to create experiences that bring people together to discover extraordinary films from around the world. It is through the art of cinema that we foster a community that is more informed, aware, and alive.

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