Based on one of the most epic Twitter threads of all time, Zola (the film) is directed by a Latina Janizca Bravo and features Latino star Colman Domingo. It hasn’t gotten the love from Latinx outlets though – arguably because both are Black. That said, we did find Latinas, some Afro-Latina some not, who reviewed the film and everyone agrees it’s definitely worth a watch:
Writing for Nerdist, DarkSkyLady calls the film “a whole mood of social media emojis, from the side-eye to the ‘oh.” Noting the stellar performances of Domingo and star Taylour Paige, she writes, “Despite natural comparison points like Hustlers, Zola deserves its time to shine along with the hilarious and dynamic performances of the cast. Zola is a wild ride, and we are silent passengers. Well, maybe not silent, because audiences will laugh and scream.” Read their full review.
Yolanda Machado in The Wrap calls Zola the first film that “truly captures the chaotic frenzy of how social media intersects social justice and entertainment.” She particularly praises director Bravo, writing she “brings a feverish rawness to this adaptation… that captures the absorbing nature of the viral thread. Bravo doesn’t shy away from the elements of the tale that are uncomfortable and terrifying; instead, Bravo plays on that unease with bold stylistic choices.” Read her full review.
Monica Castillo also loves it. In Hyperallergic, she writes, “Zola is such a breathless ride that by the time the characters are driving over the Sunshine Skyway Bridge, the silence is almost a welcome reprieve. There are so many layers to the story – from the social media culture that launched it to fame in the first place, to the potent racism and sexism the title character faces.” Read her full review.
Cinema Soloist’s Adriana Gomez-Weston raves after seeing Zola at Sundance (we admit it, we’re jealous): “There’s barely any negatives to say about Zola. All of the actors are well-suited to their roles, at times a bit too much so (namely a violent scene with Jason Mitchell). Zola isn’t afraid to ‘go there’ and make its audience uncomfortable. We’re forced to see what Zola sees, and feel as grossed out as she is. Janicza Bravo is known for pushing boundaries, (primarily with her film Lemon) so how will general audiences react? Luckily, discomfort doesn’t take away from Zola, it only enhances the story it aims to tell.” Read her full review.