Zola took us on one heck of a ride alongside a woman’s nearly unbelievable trip to Florida with a stranger, kicked off with one fateful tweet in October 2015: “Y’all wanna hear a story about why me and this bitch here fell out? It’s kind of long but full of suspense.” We all know the answer to that one.
What followed was a 144-tweet thread that led readers through some insane ups and downs as the author, Detroit stripper named A’Ziah “Zola” Wells, took us on her wild ride.
At the time, it was quipped that it should be made into a movie. The powers that be were listening, and a film based on the social media story just debuted at the Sundance Film Festival.
It features Janicza Bravo as she hitches along with a newly made white friend Stefani, played by Riley Keough, and her pimp. She agrees to set off to Florida as they tried to make money from the profitable Florida strip club market. She ends up entangled in a messy tale involving attempted suicide, extortion, murder, and sex trafficking.
People were enthralled. Many didn’t believe any of it, while others were desperate to find out if it was a true story. It went viral and became so popular that Rolling Stone did a report fact-checking Well’s story. This report became the basis for the film’s script.
The report detailed that while they were real and many of the events happened, a lot of hyperbolized, and some refuted by her travel companion, as she was adamant she never sold here goods for money. While some of the details may continue to be in dispute about all of it, one thing can’t be denied- it made for a very entertaining read – which now will be an even more entertaining film.