Aya is a woman in her early thirties. After astonishing everyone by saying “No” on her wedding day, she leaves the Ivory Coast for a new life in China. Living in an area where the African diaspora meets the Chinese culture, she finds a job in a tea boutique owned by Cai, a 45-year-old Chinese man. In the privacy of the shop’s backroom, Cai initiates Aya into the Chinese tea ceremony. As he teaches her this ancient art, their relationship slowly grows into one of tender love. But for their burgeoning passion to be supported by trust, both of them must let go of their burdens and face up to their pasts.
by Abderrahmane Sissako
with Nina Mélo, Chang Han, Wu Ke-Xi, Michael Chang
France / Mauritania / Luxembourg / Taiwan / Cote d'Ivoire 2024 Mandarin, French, English, Portuguese 111’ Colour World premiere


  • Nina Mélo (Aya)
  • Chang Han (Cai)
  • Wu Ke-Xi (Ying)
  • Michael Chang (Li-Ben)


Director Abderrahmane Sissako
Screenplay Kessen Fatoumata Tall, Abderrahmane Sissako
Cinematography Aymerick Pilarski
Editing Nadia Ben Rachid
Music Armand Amar
Sound Design Carlo Thoss
Sound Nicolas Leroy, Loïc Collignon
Production Design Véronique Sacrez
Producers David Gauquié, Julien Derys, Denis Freyd, Kessen Fatoumata Tall, Jean-Luc Ormières, Charles S. Cohen
Co-Producers Sidonie Dumas, Jeanne Geiben, Vincent Quénault, Vincent Wang, Nobu Tsai Hsin Hung, Philippe Lacôte
Co-Production Gaumont Neuilly-sur-Seine
Red Lion Roeser
House on Fire Paris
House on Fire International Taipeh
Wassakara Productions Abidjan
Arte France Cinéma Neuilly-sur-Seine

World sales


Produced by

Cinéfrance Studios

Archipel 35

Dune Vision

Abderrahmane Sissako

Born in Mauritania in 1961, he grew up in Mali. He went to the Soviet Union to study filmmaking at the Gerasimov Institute of Cinematography in Moscow where he made his first short films.


1989 The Game; short film 1992 Octobre; short film 1995 Le chameau et les bâtons flottants; short film 1996 Sabrya; short film 1997 Rostov-Luanda; documentary 1998 Life on Earth 2002 Waiting for Happiness 2006 Bamako 2007 Tiya’s Dream / 8; short film 2008 Stories on Human Rights; segment: N’dimagu – Dignity 2010 Je vous souhaite la pluie; short film 2014 Timbuktu 2023 Black Tea

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2024