Peace by Chocolate


Comedy / Drama

Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 85%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 86%
IMDb Rating 5.9 10 167

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Plot summary

Uploaded by: FREEMAN

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Movie Reviews

Reviewed by kokogabi2 10 / 10

Warms your heart until it melts like chocolate.

This movie... It doesn't only makes my day because I'm a Syrian and loved the way these people accomplished something and gave me hope and a smile. It's also that Syrian soul it has, working tirelessly for your dreams but also being their for your family.

RIP Hatem Ali, you will be missed.

Reviewed by nancyldraper 8 / 10

Very well told

The filmmakers did a very god job of translating this true story, of immigrants coming to a small Nova Scotian town, into an interesting drama and not a documentary. The acting is good. The situations are true to both the Syrian culture and the Maritime culture. If only they had learned to say Antigonish. Each time it was mispronounced our Dartmouth audience winced. My exit poll of about 10 people rated the show: 7, 7.5, seven 8s, and one 8.5. I give this movie a 7.9 (very good) out of 10. {Drama}

Reviewed by steiner-sam 8 / 10

The movie was better than I expected

It's a cross-cultural immigration drama set in 2016 in Antigonish, Nova Scotia. It follows a Syrian refugee family landing in a town of 4,000 in rural Nova Scotia and shows the internal family struggles as well as cross-cultural experiences in the community.

Tareq Hadhad (Ayham Abou Ammar) is the son who immigrates to Canada first. He was a Syrian medical student before his family fled to Lebanon because of the war. Tareq speaks good English. The rest of the family speaks no English. His father, Issam (Hatem Ali), had run a specialty chocolate factory with 50 employees before the war, but the factory was bombed in 2012. Issam and Shahnaz (Yara Sabri), Tareq's mother, are soon to follow. Tareq's sister, Alaa (Najlaa Al Khamri), cannot come for a while because her husband has stayed in Syria. After her husband is killed in the war, Alaa also joins the family in Antigonish.

The film follows some of the acculturation issues (snow and cold in winter) and the sponsorship of the family by a local church, especially an accountant named Frank (Mark Camacho). Tareq desperately wants to get into a Canadian medical school against his father's wishes. His father feels illiterate if his son does not stay close to the family. From a small beginning, we see the Peace by Chocolate business grow with a settled outcome by the end.

The movie was better than I expected. At a cynical level, it's a 90-minute advertisement for Peace by Chocolate and the Sobey's grocery chain that became an early supporter. (And the theater where I watched it sold Peace by Chocolate bars at the refreshment counter.) Some critics have also complained about the positive references to the Liberal Party's immigration policy and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

But the film also shows the tension between a father loyal to Syrian culture and a son wanting to pursue an independent future. It's also clear that not all Antigonish residents welcomed the newcomers. The film could have been more open about the latter issue and perhaps revealed more negative scenes of the cross-cultural experience. But it clearly is aimed at a family-friendly audience and portrays an ultimately positive immigration experience. It's a good mixture of humor and tension.

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