The Way of the Tea (Les Frémissements Du Thé ) (France, 21 min)
Directed by: Marc Fouchard
Written by: Marc Fouchard
Cast: Coban Beutelstetter Editing Benoist BUTTIN Decors Thomas Collard Cinematographer Matthieu Devillers Producer Marc Fouchard Screenplay Vincent Girault Music Claire Paillot Sound designer
A small town in Northern France, Alex, a young skinhead, enters Malik’s grocery store.
Review:Review: The Way of Tea
By Alexia Amoriello.
The Way of Tea is an incredibly beautiful and sentimental short film from director Marc Fouchard. The film is an uplifting story focusing on Alex, a young skinhead, and Malik, the owner of a small grocery store. Fouchard’s film establishes the act of sharing a cup of tea as an astoundingly meaningful activity, while also shedding light on its political significance. Sharing a cup of tea not only cools the tension between Alex and Malik but has also had a considerable impact on more extensive cultural tensions.
The gorgeous imagery, impressive camerawork, and effective use of sound and lighting make this a noteworthy film for its artistic qualities. The technical aspects of the film make it apparent that this is the work of a competent filmmaker. Moreover, the camerawork is delightfully impressive without feeling as though the filmmaker is showing off. Although only one location is necessary to tell this story, the camera moves through the street and the aisles of the grocery store with elegance. The lighting manages to establish a distinct tone that remains consistent throughout the entire film. Shots throughout the film are not only aesthetically pleasing but are full of symbolism as well. For example, a recurring shot of a moth flying towards a streetlight is both visually striking and thematically significant. Nonetheless, beneath The Way of Tea’s aesthetic style lies a heartwarming sociopolitical message.
In addition, both Alex and Malik are well written and well developed characters. Despite their cultural differences, the characters work well together to create a touching story that never loses its credibility. Considering the fact that this is such a short film, both Alex and Malik undergo a reasonable yet satisfying amount of character development. Additionally, both Leon Garel and Hassam Ghancy provide authentic and heartfelt performances.
Fouchard’s film is an absolute must-see due to both its technical achievements and inspiring message. The Way of Tea is the type of film that would be worth watching solely for its dazzling cinematography, but the fact that it contains a touching thematic idea that extends far beyond its character’s storylines only makes the film that much more remarkable. The film makes use of the tensions between Alex and Malik as a vehicle to effectively communicate a much more substantial and universal message.
The Way of Tea is an official selection of the New York City Independent Film Festival and will be screened at the festival on October 12-18, 2015.