The film is starring Harlem‘s Teyana Taylor, William Catlett, and Josiah Cross and was written and directed by Award Winning Director, A.V. Rockwell, A Thousand and One is a powerful film based in New York that touches on themes of family, love, gentrification and so much more.
The Hollywood Reporter writes about the film story of the struggles of a young woman of color to rebuild her life after a prison stint are conveyed with deep feeling in A Thousand and One, the affecting first feature from A.V. Rockwell, who sharpened her skills on acclaimed short films and commercials.
Led by a performance from Teyana Taylor of youthful swagger that evolves through a series of challenges into hard-won self-possession, the Focus Features release is a tender, often painful portrait of the fractious but loving bond between a mother and son, both spat out of the foster care system. It’s also a rich evocation of New York City in the throes of accelerated gentrification and discriminatory policing.
Laura Clifford, Reeling Reviews wrote, “Teyana Taylor anchors the film with her portrait of a woman ever willing to fight, one who even briefly attains everything she’d hoped for. The camera loves her, but the actress eschews vanity for reality…”
Andrew Kendall, Stabroek News, writes, “Teyana Taylor‘s work will linger with me for the rest of 2023. It is a performance of remarkable specificity and audaciousness with a closing shot that stays on her face – expressive, trenchant, complex, and incredibly moving. Just like the film.”
Jessica Kiang, for Variety wrote, “Inez is a gift of a role for a performer of Teyana Taylor’s commitment, and she tears into it, giving what deserves to be her breakthrough performance (she made her film acting debut in 2021’s “Coming 2 America”). Onscreen almost every moment, she’s the energetic, extroverted personality whose abrasive, combative flaws are difficult to tell from her abrasive, combative virtues. “I’ll go to war for you,” she vows to Terry, “fight this whole fucked-up town for you.” Hers is a streetwise, experience-hardened love. Tenderness manifests as anger, protectiveness is expressed through scolding. The ferocity of her maternal affection is both wonderful and terrifying, but she knows it’s what is needed to keep her little family together, in a callous world that will never fully believe her intentions are pure.”
The crew includes writer/director A.V. Rockwell, with the cast Teyana Taylor, Will Catlett, Josiah Cross, Aven Courtney, Aaron Kingsley Adetola, with producers Eddie Vaisman (p.g.a), Julia Lebedev (p.g.a), Lena Waithe, Rishi Rajani, Brad Weston and executive producers Oren Moverman, Jamin O’Brien.
It’s a pleasant surprise to see and hear about the passion that Teyana has brought to the role we think it will go a long way in opening up other roles for her in the coming future for this Harlem lady.
The film is released on March 31, 2023, look for it at the AMC Magic Johnson Harlem 9, 2309 Frederick Douglass Blvd, New York, NY 10027, 212.665.6923, amctheatres.com.
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Photo credit: 1) Teyana Taylor screenshot. 2) YouTube.