The Last Black Man in San Francisco a stunning feature film debut from director Joe Talbot. Co-written by Talbot and the film’s star Jimmie Fails (also in his feature debut), the story is based on Fails’ lived experience growing up in San Francisco. As per the film, his grandfather built a Victorian house years ago, but when his relatives could no longer afford to keep it, Jimmie was sent to live in foster care and public housing.
With the help of his friend Montgomery (Jonathan Majors), Jimmie seeks to reclaim his family home from the gentrified area that had once been a middle-class neighborhood home to many Black families. Throughout the film, Jimmie and Montogomery are often skateboarding around the beautifully illuminated cityscape or along the waterfront. Like the film itself, they’re not always very talkative, but they are sharing in their emotional experience in a very poignant way. Cinematographer Adam Newport-Berra shines a light on their quest to be heard, showing off the picturesque backdrops of San Francisco in an intimate way. The bright and aesthetically pleasing visuals of The Last Black Man in San Francisco fit perfectly alongside many other A24 releases.