I absolutely love Zola. The story that Aziah King first detailed on Twitter absolutely enthralled me then, immediately becoming a future must see movie in my book. Well, years later, along came Janicza Bravo, who brilliantly figured out exactly what the film within the Tweets truly was. The end result is one of 2021’s best flicks, truly, but also something that’s both incredibly modern and also a real time capsule. That’s pretty tough to pull off, but Bravo, along with her co-writer Jeremy O. Harris, does it phenomenally. So, when given the chance to talk with her here during Oscar season (where Zola is up for several Indie Spirit prizes), I lept at the opportunity. Today, you can see the fruits of that labor, and it’s a really fun chat, if I do say so myself.
Below, you can see my conversation with Bravo. Last summer, I spoke to co-star Riley Keough (here) about the movie, but now I’ve gone to the source of the filmmaking, as it were. We talk a lot about King, how her story was ultimately translated to the big screen, and how she puts sex on screen. It’s a fascinating discussion, to be sure, but also a wildly entertaining one. We laugh a lot and it genuinely seemed like Bravo enjoyed our time (I know I did, at least). I can’t recommend this film enough, so if you haven’t seen it yet, correct that immediately. You’ll be glad that you did…
This is some of what I had to say about Zola in my rave review from last year:
Director Janicza Bravo stuns here. Along with co-writer Jeremy O. Harris, Bravo adapts King’s tweets brilliantly, discarding what doesn’t perfectly fit the narrative. If Twitter counts as a source, I do hope this becomes the first Best Adapted Screenplay nominee to be based off of a social media thread. In addition to the writing, Bravo’s direction is bold and utter perfection. Every scene in Zola feels alive in a wonderfully unique way. Plus, the choice by Bravo and Harris to have all of the nudity be male, the complete opposite of what 99.9% of other filmmakers would choose, is another reason why this flick soars. That, and the movie has another perfect score from composer Mica Levi.
Here now is my interview with Zola co-writer and director Janicza Bravo. Enjoy:
Zola is available to own now!