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National Film Board

The Chocolate Farmer

Rohan Fernando / Canada / 2010 / 72 ' / English


Hannele Halm
Rohan Fernando
Rohan Fernando & Paul Cowan
Annette Clarke

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A timely and vital film that challenges our deeply held assumptions of progress


The Chocolate Farmer is the story of Eladio Pop, a cacao farmer in a remote district of southern Belize. A direct descendent of the ancient Maya, Eladio comes face to face with the moral dilemmas around the “fair trade” label within the multi-billion dollar chocolate industry. A tender and moving family tale, director Rohan Fernando’s lush cinematic journey intimately captures a year in the life of the Pop family as they struggle to preserve their values in a world that is suddenly and dramatically changing. The camera becomes a witness to social and family tensions that play out in a culture that was once the most advanced civilization in the world. A lament for cultures lost, this timely and vital film challenges our deeply held assumptions of progress.

Filmed over a year against an incredibly lush environment and luscious industry, this intimate family story ultimately examines just how fair “fair trade” is, challenges our deeply held assumptions of progress, and queries the idea that the seeds of collapse may lay dormant in every civilization.


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