CPH:DOX Review: The Chocolate War

Terry Collingsworth and a child working at a plantation

Just about everyone loves chocolate. It was first introduced into Britain as a drink and reached the height of its popularity, in this form, during the 18th century. Cadbury and mass production brought the sweet goodness to a whole new market, in the form of a bar, a couple of centuries later. Making it affordable for the first time. Today, it’s everywhere. Whole aisles of supermarkets chock-full of colourful a nd imaginative wrappers, just demanding to be eaten. Dentists have never been so happy!

The actual ethics of cocoa production have always been a concern, for some of us at least. However, consumers have become much more clued-up about the use of child labour, often slavery, which has allowed us to enjoy such low prices for so long. Multinationals have responded with shiny publicity campaigns and ‘Fair Trade’ has become increasingly important to their brands. However, just how ethical is your Kit Kat? The Chocolate War finds out.

The Chocolate War follows Terry Collingsworth, a US lawyer, who has dedicated his life to help end human trafficking and slavery. Today, he has Big Chocolate in his sights. Representing six victims of Ivory Coast’s cocoa trade, he’s taking Nestlé and Cargill through the US courts. Miki Mistrati’s documentary follows him as he journeys to Africa and visits plantations where we see this injustice first hand. In the process, he uncovers more information about how these supply chains work. The Chocolate War peels off the wrapping of a dirty industry.

The Chocolate War screens at CPH:DOX.

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