“Y’all wanna hear a story about why me & this bitch here fell out? It’s kind of long but full of suspense,” and with these words began perhaps the most epic thotyssey of our time.
In 148 tweets, A’Ziah “Zola” King became an icon, detailing (what the film describes as) a “ho-trip” from Detroit to Tampa. Black Twitter was completely entranced, referring to this grand excursion as a thotyssey.
What is a thotyssey, you say? Zola co-writer Jeremy O. Harris explains.
“If you’re gonna have a thotyssey, you’re going to need a dynamic villain. You also have to have something that’s seductive to come home to,” Harris told The Root. “But there’s a villain that keeps you from going back. That’s the structure of Homer’s The Odyssey, and if it’s gonna be a thotyssey, it’s gonna be that but set to Migos.”
From director Janicza Bravo comes, Zola, a feature-length film about two women who go on a “ho trip” to make some extra cash stripping in Florida. The film stars Taylour Paige (as Zola); and the cast includes Riley Keough ( as Stefani) and Colman Domingo (as a pimp named X), among others.
It is absolutely worthy to note that Zola is directed by a Black woman, led by a Black woman and told from the perspective of a Black woman. We see you.
With that, The Root asked Zola’s cast what message the film sends to audiences about Black womanhood and sex positivity.
“I am so used to being in a body that has to ask permission to be in space. I am so used to being in a body that offends other people, or makes other people uncomfortable,” director Janicza Bravo says. “Hopefully other young women... watch it [Zola] and see some version of themselves in that and feel empowered to tell their own stories”
See our conversation with the cast of Zola in the video above.
Zola is in theaters Wednesday, June 30.