It’s a poignant portrayal of a young woman of color struggling to rebuild her life after being released from prison. thousand and one, the inspiring first feature of AV Rockwell, who honed his skills in critically acclaimed short films and commercials. Led by Teyana Taylor’s youthful swagger performance, the focus feature’s release evolves through a series of challenges into hard-won self-ownership, an arduous yet loving bond between mother and son. is a tender and often painful portrait of Not covered by the foster care system. It’s also richly reminiscent of New York City, which suffers from accelerating gentrification and discriminatory policing.
Harlem’s gritty textures, sizzling colors, and vibrant street life in particular are as glamorous as Taylor’s Inés de la Paz, the hair stylist she first met while working at Rikers in 1993. Make this historic district the hero. A year later, she’s homeless in Brooklyn living in her shelter and struggling to get her job, but she’s determined to stay out of trouble.
thousand and one
Good acting and persuasive.
When Inez first meets his 6-year-old son Terry (Aaron Kingsley Adetola), he is hesitant to talk to her. However, the boy lands in the hospital after an accident at her foster home and she begins visiting, getting over his wrath with Power Rangers toys. Inez tells him she will be moved to a new shelter, but she gives her buzzer number and vows to find him. “Why are you leaving me behind?” he asks, sparking her impulsive decision to take him away to Harlem.
The Rockwells followed their lives together for 15 years, with Terry played by Aven Courtney at age 13 and Josiah Cross at age 17. moonlight.
News reports about the kidnapping of a boy in Brooklyn make Inez nervous, but finding a job and an affordable apartment she and Terry begin to relax into their new life together. Get a fake ID for Terry, who attends, so he can attend school. He’s a good student, and promising possibilities open up as he approaches his college years. There is a risk of being
Rockwell’s empathetic gaze keeps us rooting for both Inez and Terry as his teenage growing pains create friction between them. Catlett) resumes a difficult romance. He offers Terry a figure of her father, but has Inez unfairly blamed when the fight causes him to disappear for weeks at a time.
All three actors playing Terry capture the wounds of a child accustomed to disappointment at a young age and always on the lookout for signs of drifting again. Ines seems keenly aware of her son’s strain. Even through scenes where fragile family units find moments of harmony, both are wounded people, as does Lucky, who weaves a vein of melancholy.
Taylor is especially good at showing how the tension of holding them together eats away at her by giving more from Lucky and Terry than she can get. The scene of laughing and sobbing while watching reality TV pierces the heart.
has a tortuous nature thousand and one Therefore, it may feel a little underpowered and too long. But the drama is fully human, and the relationships are portrayed with as much love and compassion for the characters’ failures as with hope, a quality reinforced by Gary Gunn’s mellow score.
What makes the canvas more expansive than the central focus of home and family is a keen observation of the changing fabric of life in New York City from his time as Mayor Giuliani to his time as Bloomberg. , leading to racial profiling and a stop-and-frisk policy targeting people of color. So Terry gets slammed into a wall just walking home from school. And rampant development works in favor of property owners while disenfranchising longtime residents throughout the neighborhood.
That process — insensitive new landlords taking over maintenance responsibilities and kicking out tenants by making the home basically uninhabitable — is shown in all its callous indifference. While she deals with her sad loss and faces the dilemma of what to do with Terry’s future, it throws another great crisis on Inez’s shoulders. With the unveiling of the closing act shown in , the perspective changes radically.
Cinematographer Eric K. Yue’s keen eye for urban evolution and its impact on marginalized communities, the film benefits greatly from the authenticity of its locations and the director’s sensitivity to the victims of social change. is receiving Despite the many shaky debates of its characters, it’s a quiet drama. and is motivated solely by a desire to create a better life for the people she loves.
Venue: Sundance Film Festival (US Dramatic Competition)
Distribution: focus function
Production Companies: Sight Unseen, Hillman Grad, MakeReady
Cast: Teyana Taylor, Josiah Cross, Will Catlett, Aaron Kingsley Adetra, Aven Courtney, Terry Victoria Abney, Delyssa Reynolds, Amelia Workman, Mark Gesner, John Maria Gutierrez, Adrian・Lenox
Director/Screenplay: AV Rockwell
Producers: Eddie Weissmann, Julia Lebedev, Lena Waithe, Rishi Rajani, Brad Weston
Executive producers: Oren Moberman, Rachel Jacobs, Leonid Lebedev, AV Rockwell, Jamin O’Brien
Cinematographer: Eric K. Yue
Production Designer: Sharon Romovsky
Costume designer: Melissa Vargas
Music: Gary Gunn
Editors: Sabine Hoffman, Kristan Sprague
Casting: Evie Kaufman
1 hour 54 minutes