The rise and fall of the famous clown Chocolat, the first black circus performer who revolutionised the stagnant circus acts and conquered Paris of the Belle Époque with his exuberance and originality.
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The life story of Rafael Padilla, a former slave in Cuba, who unexpectedly became a star clown in the Paris of the Belle Epoque. Discovered in a small country circus in the North of France by George Footit, a British clown and acrobat, he formed a successful duo with him, 'Footit and Chocolat'. For two decades, and despite conflicts between the two artists, Footit as the authoritarian white clown and Chocolat as the Auguste Black drudge filled crowds with enthusiasm. But nothing lasts forever and the glory of Chocolat, despite his high ambitions, started to decline until his premature death in 1917.Written by
I am the first to be surprised by this movie which I expected to be a comedy. It's usual that, in France, and not only in France, Black actors are used mainly in comedies, as buffoons, and I don't bear this. Omar Sy has been involved in many of this kind of stuff, unfortunately. But here, he is absolutely outstanding, poignant, convincing. He is a true actor, deserving an Academy Award for his performance. I think no one else could have played this role. The role of a totally forgotten Black artist who lived in the first years of the twentieth century, who raised for a very short fame before dying in poverty. In other words, we find here a pure American scheme: rise and fall. This kind of topic is used for gangsters films, or dramas involving artists, business men, politicians. I crave for these stories. But if you live the Wikipédia document, you'll notice that many lines have been forgotten about the true facts concerning the Chocolat's life. This film should have been longer or made through a short TV series, with four episodes.
A beautiful but sad drama which deserves to be widely known.
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