The Chocolate Case

Benthe Forrer, 90 min, Netherlands.

Here’s a horrifying thought: every time you buy a bar of chocolate, you’re helping finance slavery and child labour. This is the premise of The Chocolate Case, a Dutch documentary that follows a group of curious and intrepid journalists on their journey of discovery, protest and disappointment after they become aware that all big chocolate brands are implicated in slavery and child labour. The group’s efforts were partially successful: although they didn’t manage to get themselves convicted of financing child labour through buying chocolate (a case which would have set an incredible precedent in Europe, criminalising most chocolate-buyers), they did manage to create and put to market a slave-free chocolate bar which went on to become the Netherlands’ leading chocolate bar choice, and is still producing ethically-sourced cocoa beans today. The Chocolate Case explores some very serious matters but manages to do so in a way that isn’t oppressive or dark. Light-hearted and even comic moments litter the story, courtesy of the affable and playful journalists. The film is also beautifully shot, its archive and on-the-hoof footage looking as cinematic as anything you will see from a fiction film.