Arts & Entertainment

Zola Is An Only In America Tale

BY RENEE DALLOW

Zola is a quirky, twirking, trailer trash film based on a tweet about sex trafficking. It is also a road movie with some devious and, sort of funny, twists and turns.

The whole scenario starts at Hooters when two pole dancers meet and decide to team up. The real fun, however, begins in Tampa Florida. The story goes like this. Zola, a waitress, is approached by Stefani, a customer, who convinces her to dance with her as a double act in the seedy lap dancing clubs of Detroit. Zola doesn’t lap dance but is an amazing pole dancer. The writer/director of this film, Janicza Bravo, has filmed Zola’s twirking butt from every angle as Zola shimmies up, down and around the pole. At this point it is obvious that this is a film that pulls no punches.

As the story progresses, and Zola joins her new bestie Stefani for the trip to Florida, things get pretty complicated. Turns out Stefani has brought along her nerdy boyfriend and another dude who shares a flat with them who just happens to be a pimp. In actual fact Stefani, is on the game, and the pimp without a name, takes care of her while the boyfriend keeps watch. The film gets pretty graphic and be prepared for full frontal male nudity.  

What you don’t get is gratuitous violence. Quite a relief. It is merely suggested, and yes, someone does get shot.

Anyway the whole story is based on a true story which was played out on Twitter. Seems Stefani’s version about what really happened is quite different from Zola’s and Stefani tried to sue. Only In America!  

The film stars Taylour Paige as Zola and Riley Keough as Stefani. Both give convincing performances.

★★★

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