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Conflict Resolution Studies (Review Of Film Chocolat)

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Conflict Resolution Studies

Take Home Exam Ð'- "Chocolat"


The character of choice when analyzing conflict in the film Chocolat is Vianne (The world famous Juliette Binoche). Vianne is the mother of a small girl named Anouk who moves to a small town in France to open a "Chocolaterie" or a chocolate store. While there Vianne changes the views of a town and its people while dealing with conflict at every turn. The best way to understand Vianne and her conflict is to follow the guide and questions below which open up insights to the movie and its star.

1. What is Vianne's perspectives/lenses on conflict ?

Vianne shows herself to be a very kind and loving woman. Not only is the nature of her business to find out the desires of her customers and help them come true but to share love with those around her. This is echoed in the way she views conflict. When she sees others in conflict she remains open and looks to meet the challenge. When she herself is in conflict (for example when she finds out the Compte de Raynaud is badmouthing her and her non Christina ways) she seeks out the person whom she is in conflict with and attempts to deal with it. The results may send her off kicking a statue in the short turn but Vianne stays steadfast in her belief of dealing with problems and dealing with them to benefit all involved and to create happiness for those involved. Thus I would say that Vianne has an open lens and enjoys her ability to see other people through various lenses not just her own.

2. What goals does that character have in the movie, which of their goals come into conflict with other peoples goals? Explain.

Vianne's goals are to sell chocolate and support her daughter and business. More important to that though is the underlying reason why Vianne sells chocolate. She knows that she can affect people for the better with her product. She knows her product is more than candy but a way for people to bridge gaps in their lives and find happiness. Vianne tries to set up widowers, she ignites passion in her customer's lives, and she even tries to bring a grandmother and her grandson together in the hopes of saving relationships and family.

The conflict with other people's goals is that the town is very religious. The bible and the mayor would have the town believing that the chocolates and what they bring are blasphemous. That Vianne and her un-fathered child are evil and that the answers to loving life can all be found with the church and the Christian way.

3. What power does this character have? Lack? How do they express their power?

Vianne has many powers. She is able to communicate strongly with those around her. This allows her to befriend certain tight collared types who other wise wouldn't talk to others. This also allows her to read between the lines with her customers. Gleaning keen information that they are not willing to talk about and thus lending her the ability to see hidden problems. Vianne translates this into good advice and chocolate that does more than satisfy cravings of hunger but cravings of the soul as well.

Vianne also posses currencies in patience. Moving to a new town to open shop. The move to a small religious town with a child and no father is brave and shows how strong her personality and resolve are. Vianne's power currencies also stem from friendship at the end of the movie when the town realize she has done actions of good not evil and that she cares for each of them greatly, a felling that is eventually returned.

4. What is that character's main style(s)? How do you know?

The characters main style is to face everything head on. Not only is it the nature of her life but her conflict solving as well. To be a single mother in Europe requires a certain lack of fear and courage both displayed in heaps by Vianne through out the movie. When ever there seems to be a moment of challenge she meets it head on and does what is best for her, her daughter and those else involved.

When she is challenged she stands up for herself right away regardless of gender or age. The Compte found that out when Vianne heard he was dis-reputing her around the town. The old woman who is leasing her the apartment and store found out that Vianne attacks head on when she didn't flinch at the old ladies poor attitude and instead changed it with a hot cup of cocoa.

5. How does the character's communication skills or lack of them help/hinder them achieving their goals?

The communication skills demonstrated by Vianne are amazing. She is able to converse with children and elderly alike. She treats women and men as equals. She is able to dissect hidden meanings from people's words and can smooth over problems form anyone's life regardless of circumstance.

She communicates so well that she is able to influence a whole town to see the brighter side of life and how to further enrich day to day living. Vianne becomes so successful that the town even comes to the understanding at the end of the movie that they were wrong to ostracize her and that she shows the way of god through love. Her skills helped a town become stronger and more accepting of life and difference.

6. How was change accomplished in the movie?

Change in the movie was accomplished by the broadening of perspectives. Vianne and her daughter used positive communication, open mindedness and chocolate to change the views of the town.

More specifically Vianne opened a chocolate store and began to offer people what they need to change their lives for the better. For one lady it was unrefined cocoa nibs to spice up her husbands love life. For another lady it was to



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