“The Meaning of Tea” by Scott Chamberlin-Hoyt is a beautiful film on the Southern Arts Federation’s Southern Circuit Tour of Independent Filmmakers. The film visits 7 countries and explores the role that tea plays in various cultural rituals. Chamberlin-Hoyt explores the people, landscapes and rituals of England, India, China, Japan, Morrocco and France. He also includes one sort of embarassing clip about a town called Tea, South Dakota.
He should have included something better about the U.S. There are tea rituals here. I once saw a girl order a shot of vodka in her iced tea during lunch at the Ground Zero Club in Clarksdale, Mississippi. There was definitely some kind of ritual involved in that. At the time I took it to be the age old ritual of impressing a guy. But maybe she wanted to impress his grandmother who was also with us. Maybe that’s just what they do at Ground Zero. Or maybe that’s just how Memphis girls do when they get out of town for lunch.