In the world’s second-most populated country—characterized by centuries-old caste systems, more than 2000 ethnic groups, and large sects of all major religions—the one thing that seems to connect the diverse citizens of India is their constant need for piping hot masala chai.
The documentary follows the lives of five different tea makers: Yogesh, a US-educated business owner of a posh teahouse in Pune; Mohammad, an elderly tea-maker who has worked in film production for 40 years; Gouri, an outspoken teen assisting with her family tea stall in Kolkata; and Sushanta and Subodh, who run small tea stalls in Darjeeling and Delhi, respectively.
Masala Chai offers a warm glimpse into the personal struggles of some of India’s most common and relied-upon vendors. The film is also a captivating exploration of the vast class differences of a diverse nation that is steeped in ancient traditions and societal difficulties, many of which are being rebuffed by its younger generation.
Yogesh Pavan, Mohammad Khan, Gouri Mahato, Sushanta Thapa, Subodh Pramod
Marco Hülser (in attendance)
Marco Hülser was born 1992 in Hamburg and gained his “Abitur” in 2011. After a voluntary service in Tamil Nadu, Marco studied Motion Pictures at the Hochschule Darmstadt, which he completed in 2016. During this he directed the short film Zusammen Allein which was nominated at several festivals. Since mid-2015, he has been working on his first documentary Masala Chai.
Free admission for screening, but guests must register for the event through the Asian Institute at munkschool.utoronto.ca/ai/event/23859/
This screening will be followed by a discussion with the director.