In October of 2015, Detroit waitress A'ziah "Zola" Wells took to Twitter for what would become a viral, 148-tweet thread in which she detailed her harrowing, mostly true, and somewhat embellished road trip journey with a new friend, starting at the Hooters where they met all the way to Tampa, Florida, where the two would pole dance their way through danger and mayhem.
“Y'all wanna hear a story about why me and this bitch here fell out???????? It's kind of long but full of suspense,” @zolamoon's initial tweet reads.
David Kushner, the Rolling Stone writer behind “Zola Tells All: The Real Story Behind the Greatest Stripper Saga Ever Tweeted,” described the whirlwind of tweets that followed as “Spring Breakers meets Pulp Fiction, as told by Nicki Minaj.”
After premiering at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival, the cinematic depiction of what did (and likely what did not happen) on that fateful 2015 road trip has finally been given a teaser trailer.
Three years in the making and audiences have the first taste of A24's Zola. Directed by Janicza Bravo and written by Bravo along with playwright Jeremy O. Harris (Daddy, Slave Play), Zola sees Taylour Paige as the titular character and Riley Keough as Stefani, the sex worker who invites Zola on the spontaneous road trip.
The teaser features Zola and Stefani doing their makeup in what appears to be a bathroom mirror as Zola's voiceover reads the tweet that started it all. As both women put on lipstick an onscreen warning appears: “most of what follows is true.”The release of the film has been derailed by COVID-19 and, as of now, there is no official release date.
“I can’t wait to show the work, and — maybe this is graphic — but I can’t wait to amputate it,” Bravo told Variety. “It’s been like this appendage that’s been attached to my body for close to three years, and I’m ready to cut it off.”
This article first appeared at our sister publication Detroit Metro Times.
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