Synopsis: Tea tells the story of an African American man who, upon realizing that he has run out of tea to sooth his cold, goes out into the streets of New York to buy some more. On his way back home he is stopped and searched by an undercover officer who accuses him of “looking familiar.” Tea is a story about the different lengths of police harassment and though physical violence may not be used, the emotional violence is still a deeply destructive tool used within society.
I made this film as a response to the ongoing police brutality issues that had been and still is rising in America. After thinking about what I wanted to say in this film in response to these issues, I did not want to make a film about tragic physical violence on African American people. In making this film I wanted to portray the other, more subtle, ways that police harassment can be used on people of color. Though the film ends in an emotional conclusion, there is the word “Love” tattooed on the finger of Joseph, the main character, as he tries his hardest to hold back his tears. Though the tragedy of police harassment is clear, it must be said that the answer to many of our problems is the use of Love.
Henry Arroyo is a Writer, Director and Editor based in Queens, New York. He received his BFA degree from LIU Post in Film and in February 2021 he graduated from Columbia University’s MFA Film Program with a master’s degree in Screenwriting. His artistic practice consists of Writing, Directing and Editing narrative and documentary films of different lengths to be exhibited to audiences through films festivals and distribution through local theaters and online resources. His purpose as an artist is to positively impact the everyday lives of audiences by giving them the experience of living in another world through entertaining, character driven, emotional stories that push the boundaries of genre and artistic avant-garde storytelling practices and techniques.