DOXA 2015 review: Tea Time

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      This delectable documentary observes a group of Santiago golden girls, who graduated as classmates over 60 years ago, as they gather every month for a ritual of tea and talk over a period of four years.

      As pals and confidantes (as the song goes), their chatter spans a variety of subjects as they sip tea and nibble on finger foods.

      Relationships, including husbands and widowhood, take the fore while health concerns, ranging from chemotherapy to surgery, remain an undercurrent that consistently bubbles up to the surface.

      Throughout Tea Time (La Once), Chilean filmmaker Maite Alberdi employs intimate closeups, watching the women's non-verbal reactions as others speak. As much is conveyed by their sideways glances, solemn expressions, and raised eyebrow as their actual words.

      Between pastries and bite-sized sandwiches, the well-to-do women, quite amusingly, discuss everything from their past loves to contemporary youth culture, including emos to twerking.

      Although they cast a bemused backward glance at their own sexual ignorance growing up, their unenlightened views about homosexuality reflect how much their conservative upbringing remains securely in place amid a rapidly shifting socialscape.

      Equally entertaining is when they're afflicted with World Cup fever and ridiculousness usurps the formality of their usual proceedings.

      Nonetheless, the realities of aging consistently creep in, as the number of group members dwindle, owing to variousreasons. The ever-encroaching issues of mortality hover at the sidelines, kept at bay by the central conceit of the group: the lifetime companionship the group provides is a consistent affirmation of life.

      Vancity Theatre, May 10 (5 p.m.)

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