A THOUSAND AND ONE Trailer (2023) Teyana Taylor, Drama Movie
Last month, Jeremy O. Harris, a celebrated screenwriter and playwright who was a member of the Sundance 2023 Dramatic jury, was moved to tears when presenting the festival's grand jury prize onstage to "A Thousand and One". The film, directed by A.V. Rockwell, is a powerful and visually stunning drama set in Harlem that follows the coming-of-age of a boy under the care of his mother (played by Teyana Taylor), who kidnapped him from foster care. Taylor delivers a commanding and breakout performance that is sure to garner attention during the upcoming awards season. Check out the official trailer for the film below.
The movie opens with Inez (played by Taylor), a woman living life on her own terms in New York, telling her young son Terry (Aaron Kingsley Adetola) that there's more to life than difficult beginnings. Inez has taken Terry out of the foster care system after her release from Rikers Island in 1993, hoping to give him a better life. However, as the film progresses and their complex and emotional relationship evolves over the years, Inez ultimately admits to the older Terry (Josiah Cross) that she made mistakes, but that life goes on regardless.
The film "A Thousand and One" portrays a rapidly changing New York over a span of 20 years, from the tenure of Giuliani to Bloomberg, while the city's Black residents are left to confront the challenges of gentrification on their own.
Director A.V. Rockwell shared with IndieWire, "As a New Yorker, I feel honored to make a film about the city in the same way that filmmakers I admire, like Spike Lee, Scorsese, Woody Allen, did before me. They are known for making films that capture the essence of New York, but I was making a heartbreak letter more than a love letter. I didn't have many examples of that to criticize in my own way. New York broke my heart."
The first glimpse of the film does not reveal its secrets, but "A Thousand and One" ultimately leads to a gut-wrenching conclusion that upends the entire story, serving as a poignant reminder that challenging beginnings can lead to better endings. Taylor's close collaboration with Rockwell (and her own experiences as a New Yorker) showcase significant talents in both directing and acting, making them ones to watch this year and beyond.