Teyana Taylor and A.V. Rockwell Explain The Triggers Inside ‘A Thousand And One’

Teyana Taylor and writer-director A.V. Rockwell sat down with BLACK ENTERPRISE to discuss their powerful new drama, A Thousand and One, and the generational curses and family trauma that will resonate with some viewers.

The award-winning film follows unapologetic and free-spirited Inez (Taylor), who kidnaps her six-year-old son Terry from the foster care system following her release from Rikers Island. The mother and son hold onto their secret and each other as they navigate life in a rapidly changing New York City from the 1990s to the early 2000s.

The riveting drama won a Grand Jury Prize at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival. When it came to her portrayal of Inez, Taylor shared her inspiration and how close the story hit home as a native New Yorker.

“Inez is something for sure,” she tells BLACK ENTERPRISE. “She is a person that is very near and dear to my heart.”

“It was an instant connection with her from the moment I read about who she was and just the audition sides and immediately put myself on tape to do the audition because I just felt an instant connection and I was so excited to be a part of bringing her story to life in front of the lens.”

Rockwell, a fellow New Yorker, has been recognized as a “rising indie filmmaker” with her work being celebrated for its brutal yet poetically humanized depictions of urban life. Like A Thousand and One, Rockwell’s works highlight her distinct way of addressing issues of race, family, identity, and systematic oppression.

Rockwell’s past projects include Feathers, The Gospel, and El Train. The cast in A Thousand and One includes Taylor, Will Catlett, Josiah Cross, Aven Courtney, Aaron Kingsley Adetola. It was produced by Eddie Vaisman, Julia Lebedev, Lena Waithe, Rishi Rajani, and Brad Weston,with Oren Moverman, Jamin O’Brien serving as executive producers.

Press play below to hear Teyana Taylor and A.V. Rockwell dissect their new film. Be sure to visit your local theater for its March 31 release date.