i saw the movie chocolat years ago and found johnny depp to be simply delightful in it. but reading the novel by the same name, i became completely enamored with the stubborn, proud roux. i was not prepared for the ending, which left me less fulfilled and more wistful than anything else. art imitating life, i suppose.
i loved the idea of visiting lansquenet-sous-tannes, the city in which the book takes place. but as it is completely fictional, i found it necessary to dig a little deeper. the film was shot in a variety of locations. the river and indoor scenes were all filmed in england, but since france is our destination, we shall overlook this fact. the remaining portions of the film were apparently shot in flavigny-sur-ozerain (in burgundy) and in beynac-et-cazenac (see above).
flavigny-sur-ozerain is (was?) home to a benedictine abbey in the 700s. in the 800s, after france experienced viking raids, st. regina’s (a martyr who wouldn’t renounce her faith to marry her betrothed) remains found their way there. pilgrims came to visit the remains and a town developed around the abbey. less than 350 people (the size of my graduating high school class) live in flavigny year round. today they are, appropriately enough (considering our book), known for the little pastilles they sell around the world.