The Day of Chocolate
Zuzia used to say, “If I weren’t a girl, I would be a cat…” Seven-year-old Dawid, one of the main characters in the film, names a stray cat after his sister. Zuzia, his little sister died about a year ago. Dawid’s dad moves out of the house soon after the tragedy. He keeps in touch with the family but is unable to cope with the situation on a daily basis. Dawid’s mum also finds it difficult to come to terms with her daughter’s death.
And Dawid? As the adults find it difficult to cope with the loss of their daughter, they are also unable to help Dawid. Unexpectedly, he is helped by Monika, a girl who has just moved to the neighbouring house. She has also lost the beloved person and not unlike Dawid, suffers. Monika moves to the new house soon after her grandmother’s death. Although they did not live together, the girl was very close to her grandma and she has been finding it hard to become reconciled with her death. Therefore, she is convinced that her grandma has flown to Hawaii and dreams about visiting her there one day. Parents often use the metaphor of “going away” to explain the disappearance of the grandmother or the grandfather to a child. Monika believes that her grandma is a hula dancer now, and because of that she wears a hula skirt all the time. Her parents hope that moving to a new house will take Monika’s mind off her grandma, but the move does not change anything. This is how Dawid and Monika’s extraordinary love story begins. Paradoxically, their feeling is born out of suffering. The children help each other to “get used to” death and as a result they become close friends. However, their love is put to trial.
Monika’s parents hire the Witch, this is how the girl refers to her, as she believes that the psychologist wants to take away all the memories of her grandma. Dawid comes to the rescue. He has to defend his beloved, especially that they have had a pretend wedding and now he is her husband. The children make use of imagination to defeat the Witch. They sneak out to the world “beyond time”, using an old clock in the attic. The place is filled with magic, fantastic characters but also infantile fears. This is like a travel into the subconscious minds of the characters.
Finally, Dawid’s courage and deep love enable him to defeat the Witch. Monika seems to be free at last, but is she really? Will the disappearance of the Witch help her to come to terms with the fact that her grandma has passed away? The children have to face another, much more demanding challenge than defeating the Witch. A reconciliation with death of dear and loved ones is one of the most difficult tasks that they will encounter in life. Everyone will be confronted by it earlier or later. Dawid and Monika cannot be helped by their imagination, Time Hoppers or Devourers of Weekdays. Magic is powerless. Only passing time can bring relief. “Everything passes…” says the Devourer of Mondays. It is really so. In the film, there is a leap in time – twenty years into the future. Dawid and Monika have grown up and got married. They have a daughter, Basia, who sleeps in the room and seats on the chair that used to be Zuzia’s. The parents have got older, too. Time brought relief also to them. We see both families at full strength again. Only the cat, Zuzia, is gone… The wheel of time has come full circle.
July 06, 2009
Jacek P. Bławut
Born in 1978, lives in Lodz, Poland. Graduate of Andrzej Wajda Master School of Film Directing and Academy of Fine Arts in Wroclaw, Faculty of Ceramics and Glass. Co- author of the following feature films screenplays: “Jeszcze nie wieczór”, “Sen motyla”, “Dzień czekolady”, “Hotel potworny”. Cinematographer of many documentary films.
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