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Review By Dan Missildine
“The Last Black Man in San Francisco” is a fascinating, and beautifully realized exploration of the impact of gentrification in San Francisco, especially as it emotionally affects the black community.
The powerful, moving story directed by Joe Talbot stars Jimmie Fails as a character named after himself (based partly on his life) who moves into a mansion in the city recently vacated due to a white family’s inheritance dispute.
Jimmie has convinced himself due to his family’s legend that the house was built by his grandfather in 1946 though the style is clearly 19th century.
Jimmie is joined in the house by a friend, Montgomery, excellently played by Jonathan Majors.
The deliberate pacing of the film and evocative music allow the viewer to focus on the characters’ moods as the random, chaotic events of the story unfold.
Although the movie seems like a low-budget indy release, Hollywood veterans make appearances in minor roles. Danny Glover plays a blind relative of Montgomery, Thora Birch plays the woman on the bus and Brad Pitt’s name appears on the credits as an executive producer.
When industry heavyweights weigh in, we begin to understand how independent films get made.
Although the movie ends somewhat mysteriously, the implications are quite sad.