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Weekend Watch: A Thousand And One (film)

A Thousand and One is a powerful story of the unwavering love between a mother and son in a mid 90s New York. If you’re a person who possesses any form of taste, style or decorum, the algorithm has likely placed this movie somewhere on your timeline.

Together, the mother and son duo navigate harsh realities of poverty, prejudice, and social systems that are designed to create cycles instead of changes. Ines (played by Teyana Taylor), is a fiercely determined mother, ready to go to any lengths to protect her son, Terry (played by Aaron Kingsley Adetola, Aven Courtney and Josiah Cross). While it’s extremely frustrating to witness the careless gaps, errors, and obstacles of many community services throughout this movie, it’s important to note that the storyline is far from fiction (iykyk).

Writer and Director A.V. Rockwell hit the nail on the head, it’s obvious that she wrote this feature with a message in mind, an agenda to push, and a story to tell. Humanity is at the heart of this film and grace is granted to our main characters, despite their flaws. Viewers experience the profound transformation and development of both mother and son from beginning to end, along with several thought-provoking moments that spark tough conversations.

As far as the cinematography goes, Eric K. Yue, my friend, I tip my hat. Emotions were conveyed through beautiful shots and excellent colour grading, which created the perfect backdrop for this story to be told. It was like you could take a deep breath and smell the gritty streets of New York no matter where you were watching; authenticity at its finest. The acting was solid across the board, all 10s. Teyana Taylor came correct in her debut performance as a leading character. The production team bodied this project, from script and sound to set design and wardrobe, a genuine east coast vibe permeates in the best ways imaginable.

What I found incredibly noteworthy was the depiction of the Black woman as a pillar of strength, a catalyst for community, and a seemingly never-ending well of love and care. Being a Black woman is an eminently thankless job. Ines forfeits her own goals and ambitions to ensure that her son is awarded the opportunities that she never had.

“Nobody gives a shit about Black women except for other Black women” - Ines

Reasons you should watch this film (if you’re not already convinced):

  1. Raises important questions and conversations for you and the homies

  2. The storyline and pace are chefs kiss

  3. Powerful cast performances

  4. Support Black women (duhh)

  5. The ending! Stay til’ the very end, YOU NEED TO SEE THE END!

Miss Rockwell, you killed this shit and I cannot wait to see what you’ve got in store next.

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