The Last Black Man in San Francisco

On Sky (in the UK) and available to stream.

Directed by Joe Talbot, starring Jimmie Fails and written by them both. This film draws us into the world of Jimmie Fails (Playing his namesake character) and Montgomery Allen (Johnathan Majors), who spend their day’s travelling to a house in the city that Jimmie believes was built by his grandfather in the 1940’s and maintaining it, the maintenance is not asked for or wanted by the current owners, but they insist on doing it anyway.

This is only the premise on the surface, in reality we have a melancholy story looking at displacement, community, friendship and a desire to find a way to hold on to it at all costs. While the main cast are all black, this is not primarily a film about race, it’s about the treatment of a community and how they as both a location and a people are moved from and priced out of the places that they and their families called home.

The film tells a methodical and deliberate story, it never rushes and is happy to take its time focusing on the depth of its central relationships. Fails and Majors offer two very watchable and engaging central performances with good support across the cast.

It’s not a wholly succesful piece, it is sometime a little slow for its own good and the narrative sometimes feels a little disjointed. Overall, however, The Last Black Man in San Francisco is an interesting and thoughtful film, engaging and interesting and glorious to look at with some beautiful cinematography.

It’s not going to be anyones idea of a bit of throwaway popcorn film fair, but for something a little different which thoughtfully examines a real world issue, it’s worth a watch.

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