The African-American reality presented here is poetic and radiant.
You’re probably curious about the film’s title, “The Last Black Man in San Francisco.” I’ve been curious about that myself, and as I’ve started to view it, there are a few observations.
There are men in radioactive suits cleaning up garbage, due to the water being polluted from the factory that made the Atomic Bomb, and a little African-American girl is skipping along with no suit on. And there is a shot of a fish having 2 eyes on his left side due to the radioactive water. I want to assure you this is not a Sci-Fi movie in disguise.
The reason for the film’s title is because Jimmie Fails as Jimmie Fails is said to be the last African-American man in San Francisco, because who knows where his mother (Tichina Arnold) and relatives are; and he believes his grandfather was the first African-American man in the city, and built the house in the Fillmore District. Now, he and his good playwright friend Montgomery (Jonathan Majors) plan to reclaim the house.
Meanwhile, the two try to fix its long overdue appearance-the plants, and paint job, etc. And they acknowledge the reality of their culture in the city. There are some white people they come across like a woman who used to live in the house, a girl (Thora Birch) who claims she hates the city, and an arrogant realtor (Finn Wittrock). And there’s an old friend of Jimmie’s named Kofi (Jamal Trulove), who has a gang, and eventually gets shot.
“The Last Black Man in San Francisco” is based on Fails and director Joe Talbot’s friendship, and these two have chemistry to representing the art and drama presented here.
There are radiant shots of the characters placed in the right scenery. For example, I love looking at Majors standing on a dock, gazing out in the distance, during the day and night. And there are poetic moments, like how the Jimmie skateboards down the street, and how his friendship with Majors keeps his goal in check.
You also have some fine supporting work from Trulove as the old friend; Danny Glover as Mont’s grandfather, who watches Late Night movies; Mike Epps as a driver, who drives and lives in Jimmie’s old car; Wittrock as the realtor; and Rob Morgan as Jimmie’s father.
I didn’t like some shouts the two main characters make when they celebrate, but there are still a number of intelligent scenes that keep you inspired. It has heart, honesty, and poetry, and it leaves you feeling warm inside.
If you loved “Moonlight” and “If Beale Street Could Talk,” then “The Last Black Man in San Francisco” is for you. And all these movies were produced by Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner, and Jeremy Kleiner.