Janicza Bravo’s Zola -- stylized onscreen as “@Zola” or “@zola” -- is the curious story by Aziah “Zola” Wells candidly recounting a partly truthful and partly embellished autobiographical sex trafficking road trip odyssey she unloaded as a series of 148 tweets in the fall of 2015. The thread, which Wells took down twice before getting the desired traction, became a Twitterverse cause célèbre. Movie adaptation plans quickly followed. By early 2016, James Franco was identified as the director before sexual misconduct allegations torpedoed that potential iteration of the project.
Franco’s exit and Bravo’s entrance turned out to be the greatest gift Wells could have imagined, as Zola took shape as an audacious and origina