A Thousand and One: A heart-warming New York period piece that explores motherhood, love, and gentrification

A Thousand and One: A heart-warming New York period piece that explores motherhood, love, and gentrification

Winner of the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance, “A Thousand and One” explores the complex journey of Inez, played by Teyana Taylor, as she navigates the changing city of New York while balancing motherhood, a secret, and love.

This coming-of-age story is the first feature for writer/director A.V. Rockwell, and she leaves no stone unturned. Like Inez, A.V. Is also from New York, and you can tell by how she captures an early 90s-mid 2000’s city with depth and care. Shot during the pandemic and on a tight budget, A.V. still manages to take the viewer on an immersive experience through the characters and their story.

Teyana Taylor captures Inez unlike anyone else could; she has all the elements of the role down to the New York accent. We see her in a way we aren’t used to seeing her on screen; she’s not dancing, singing, or making you laugh. Quite the contrary, she’s pulling on your heartstrings, pulling you in, and making you look within yourself through the lens of Inez.

During the press day for the film, I spoke to both Teyana and A.V. about the movie. We talked about the choice to tell this story and what it was like tapping into the role of Inez.

A.V. talks about how Black women always show up for everyone, but who shows up for us? This theme is explored throughout the film and makes you question the world around us, why are Black women consistently and historically neglected?

“A Thousand And One” opens the door for much-needed dialogue around a mirage of societal issues that affect the Black community.

Will Catlett, Josiah Cross, Aven Courtney, and Aaron Kingsley Adetola round out the cast, and produced by Eddie Vaisman (p.g.a), Julia Lebedev (p.g.a), Lena Waithe, Rishi Rajani, Brad Weston, Oren Moverman, and Jamin O’Brien serve as an executive producer of the film.

A Thousand and One premieres only in theaters nationwide on Friday, March 31, 2023.

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