Nothing Like Chocolate
The story of Mott Green and the solar-powered Grenada Chocolate Company, a farmers' and chocolate-makers' co-op, which makes organic chocolate from tree-to-bar.
Directed by Kum-Kum Bhavnani
Produced by Mirror and Hammer Films
Associate Producers: Summer Gray, John Foran
Director of Photography: Skye Borgman
Editors: Ryan Pettey, Cristina Malavenda
Sound: Ashoke Ghosh, Maga Bo
Music: Erik Lohr
Narrator: Susan Sarandon
Note: There are two versions of this program on the same DVD: 68-minutes and 55-minutes. For filmmaker appearances, see below.
"A deeply layered, subtle, and visionary film." Michael A. Santoro, Professor of Business Ethics, Rutgers University
NOTHING LIKE CHOCOLATE tells the powerful story of Mott Green and the Grenada Chocolate Company he founded, which is a farmers' and workers' cooperative. This tree-to-bar factory, claimed to be the smallest in the world, turns out luscious creations that are organic and ethical.
In a world saturated with industrial chocolate--often made with cocoa harvested by exploited child labor--this solar-powered workers' co-op provides a viable model for creating sustainable communities in the global South and beyond.
Also featured are Michael Pollan, Vandana Shiva, and Christian Parenti.
[The filmmaker of NOTHING LIKE CHOCOLATE can attend your event, host a discussion, or give a keynote address. She can also participate by Skype. To inquire about inviting Kum-Kum Bhavnani to take part in your screening, please contact kumkum102 [at] gmail [dot] com. For a review of a talk by the director at San Diego State University click here.]
Grade Level: 10 - 12, College, Adults
US Release Date: 2012
Copyright Date: 2012
DVD ISBN: 1-93777-246-2
"A deeply layered, subtle, and visionary film...Will deepen your understanding about the ethics of the chocolate you eat. What really sets this movie apart though is the focus on real people and how it shows the way forward...Offers a thoughtful assessment of the fair trade movement and compelling vision of how globalization can work if thoughtful ethical principles inform sustainable economic activity...This movie will make you think about the food you eat. It will also help inspire a new generation of global farmers and social entrepreneurs who will find more ethical and human pathways for global trade."
Michael A. Santoro, Professor of Business Ethics, Rutgers University, co-Author, Wall Street Values: Business Ethics and the Global Financial Crisis
"This film is unique in both the depth and breadth of its analysis of the cocoa industry. At its heart is a compelling story of sustainable, artisanal chocolate production in Grenada and a cooperative that is revolutionizing the connection between cocoa farmers and the finished product. However, the film also explores the complexity and contradictions of fair trade certification while providing important perspective on the child slave labor, which produces much of the conventional chocolate that consumers enjoy. The final message is a positive one: you can vote with your dollar and support viable, small-scale economic development a world away."
Sarah Lyon, Associate Professor of Anthropology, University of Kentucky, Editor, Anthropology of Work Review, Author, Coffee and Community: Maya Farmers and Fair Trade Markets
"Nothing Like Chocolate is not just an advocacy piece--It address controversial issues such as the pros and cons of fair trade; cooperatives are not always the solution; and forming collective action is difficult, challenging, filled with hurdles and complications, and is costly. Using this film, teachers can build an enlightened and engaging discussion around developing the understanding of collective action and its importance to farmers who 'control their own destiny' through collective action. This film has many lessons and could be used as a teaching instrument for several types of courses and modules and would be of interest to general audiences."
Michael L. Cook, Robert D. Partridge Professor, Department of Agricultural Economics, Executive Director, Graduate Institute of Cooperative Leadership, University of Missouri
"Powerful and sensitively done...Spectacular photography and insightful interviews...We also learn a great deal about the country of Grenada and its residents...The depth and variety of information covered would make the film useful in many subject areas, from geography and social studies, to business and environmental sciences...I highly recommend this video for both school and home use."
Sharon D. Wenger, Lawrence Public Schools, Science Books and Films
"Offers insight into one of our most beloved substances - chocolate - and the slavery epidemic that plagues cocoa bean harvesting. Child slavery, especially in Cote d'Ivoire, needs to be rectified; if large corporations (such as Hershey's) are not going to address it, Bhavnani hopes to inspire viewers to act."
Pamela Schembri, Newburgh Enlarged City Schools, School Library Journal
"This documentary focuses on real peole and tells the powerful story of anarchist chocolate maker, Mott Green...We see globalization at its best and sustainability, which has the potential for long-term maintenance of well-being and involves ecological, economic, political and cultural dimensions...Suitable for high school and college students as well as all adults, and libraries."
Susan Awe, University of New Mexico, Educational Media Reviews Online
"[Mott Green] discovered that the Ivory Coast chocolate plantations used child slave labor. This upset him so much that he decided to create an alternative in Grenada, a place that he had always loved for its revolutionary past as well as its widespread network of organic farmers, including those growing cacao...Ideal for classroom use...Bullfrog Films does outstanding work and would help progressive-minded teachers in college or high school get the message across about global warming, food safety, and indigenous peoples to their students."
Louis Proyect, Counterpunch
"Highly recommended, especially for public, high school and college library educational DVD collections."
The Midwest Book Review
"Nothing Like Chocolate takes an intimate look at the people behind 'the world's smallest chocolate factory.' It also leads viewers on an informative trek into the global chocolate economy...The film succeeds in striking fine balances between being entertaining and educational, disturbing and inspiring-a winning concoction the is poised to change the chocolate-consuming habits of its audience...Fascinating and pleasurable viewing."
Wendy Guymer Tutt, Alternatives Journal
"This challenging documentary may make chocolate lovers think twice about their passion. Recommended."
"The film teaches us about the exploitation within the chocolate industry and provides an in-depth view of one cooperative's attempt to create an alternative grounded in local communities...Inspiring and insightful...The focus on individuals...bring[s] a powerful humanizing feel to the film."
Vishwas Satgar and Michelle Williams, Wits University, The New Labor Forum
"One of the ways in our consumer society we are encouraged to show our love is through buying chocolate. But is it true love on the other end? Would it break our hearts to know that chocolate triggers civil war and trafficking in children?...The film details the struggles and victories of this small, upstart company...Alternatives like the Grenada Chocolate Company can provide hope for true development, and they represent true love, for humankind and a just future."
Mark Schuller, Assistant Professor of Anthropology and NGO Leadership and Development, Northern Illinois University, Huffington Post
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2 versions on same DVD: 68 minutes and 55 minutes. Extras are extended interviews with Michael Pollan (18 mins) and Vandana Shiva (12 mins), plus scene selection and SDH captions for the deaf and hard-of-hearing.
The Film's Website
Interview with the director, Kum-Kum Bhavnani
Awards and Festivals
Winner, Silver Reel, Lucerne Film Festival
Nominee, Best Documentary, Milan International Film Festival
Best Documentary, ITN Film Festival, Los Angeles
Best Documentary Feature, Independents' Film Festival, Tampa Bay
Nominee, Best Documentary, DocMiami International Film Festival
Best of the Fest Selection, Santa Barbara International Film Festival
Nominee, Best Documentary, Tenerife International Film Festival
Environmental Film Festival in the Nation's Capital, Washington, DC
Trinidad and Tobago International Film Festival
United Nations Association Film Festival, Stanford
Maui Film Festival
Rhode Island International Film Festival
Hollywood Reel International Film Festival
Science Books & Films Best of 2013
Central America/The Caribbean
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... more Reviews
"Mixing the bitter with the sweet, the factual and the idealistic, the documentary Nothing like Chocolate gives a macro and micro perspective on the beloved sweet stuff. Smartly directed..."
Josef Woodard, Santa Barbara Independent
"An engaging movie that provokes both the brain and the taste buds."
Brent Simon, Shockya.com
"Bhavani's keen and perceptive narrative includes passionate advocacy for an agriculture that is not just about making money, but instead treats labor with dignity...The fast-moving film also provides an excellent visual depiction of how chocolate is produced...[The film] deserves a wide audience."
Frank Barrie, KnowWhereYourFoodComesFrom.com