A touching documentary about a friendship lasting for 6 decades. The rite of Tea Time allows us to enter a private female space, from which life is interpreted. A documentary by Maite Alberdi.
Maite Alberdi (1983) studied Film and Aesthetics at Universidad Católica de Chile. As a director she has developed a highly particular style that creates an intimate portrait of the characters she works with, through everyday stories in small-scale worlds. She teaches in several universities, and is co-author of the book Teorías del cine documental en Chile: 1957-1973.
"Tea Time (La Once)" is nominated for a Goya Award as best Iberoamerican film.
Five elderly women have gathered religiously for tea once a month for the past sixty years. In these meetings, these friends argue and befriend again, they evoke a common past and try hard to show that they are still strong, forgetting for a moment their illnesses. Gathered around the table, they spend their time interpreting current affairs and fashion. Even if some trends seem to escape them, they comment on them with absolute authority, trying to explain these to one another.
When their views diverge, it is often the personal stories that come out and highlight the differences of opinion. Though they all share a similar education in a religious school, they have had to live through a period of radical historical change that prompts them to constantly question their beliefs and has created polarized visions within the group: some had access to higher education, others opted for being homemakers; some used contraceptives, others were widowed; some separated due to their husbands' infidelities, others decided to keep up appearances. Therefore, despite their very different life stories and personalities, source of constant quarrels, in the long run they manage to understand, complement and accompany each other. They all suffer from the ailments of age, but their individual shortcomings are somehow compensated for by the relationships with these friends. They have managed to put together a lifestyle that completely ignores their mental and physical problems. The afternoons pass, days, months and even years gather around the table, and it seems that nothing in their lives changes, until the death of one of the group obliges them to face a period of evident transformation.
"Tea Time" takes us through a rite of friendship, and shows the importance of traditions and celebrations, and of how systematic meetings can give sense to certain routines. The rite of Tea Time allows us to enter a female private space, from which life is interpreted. Around the table, intimate and universal themes intersect, and are analyzed from a particular perspective, that of the elderly women who look at the world from the perspective of their conservative background, and who have been forced to adapt. As a granddaughter of one of the characters, I have been observing this monthly rite since childhood, and I have always seen them in the same way, they have never aged. I'm interested in portraying this new way of living old age, in which new possibilities arise, though inevitably, the last ones."
- Audience Award, Festival de cine latino de Biarritz
- Best Iberoamerican Documentary, Festival de cine de Guadalajara 2015
- Best Female Director, AWFJ (Aliance of Woman Film Journalists, NY,USA) IDFA
- Best Film, DocsBarcelona
- Best Chilean Film, Festival de cine Santiago, SANFIC
- Best Director, Festival de cine de Santiago, SANFIC
- Best Documentary, Festival Internacional de cine de Miami
- Best Documentary, EIDF Festival Internacional de cine documental Corea
- Best Documentary, FICCI Festival de cine de Cartagena 2015
- Jury Special Mention, E tudo verdade, Brasil 2015