Film Review of the Indie-Drama currently showing at the Filmhaus in Nuremberg.
Joe Talbot’s feature film debut, The Last Black Man in San Francisco, depicts the story of Jimmie and Mont in the “Golden City” of San Francisco, but not the shiny nor relieving version we know. The movie tells the story of a young man with big dreams who searches for a home in the changing city that seems to have left him behind. The plot centres on the efforts of Jimmie Fails, a young Black man who tries to reclaim the Victorian-style house he grew up in as a child. As he struggles to reconnect with his family and reconstruct the community he longs for, his hopes blind him to the reality of his situation.
The two central complex topics in the film are gentrification and the reclamation of spaces. Jimmie hopes to reclaim the house built by the hands of his grandfather in 1946 and located in the Fillmore District in the heart of San Francisco. A part of the city that was also named the “Harlem of the West.” The film deals with the themes sensitively and picturesquely. While gentrification and reclamation of spaces are the central themes, other uncomfortable questions and truths are not skipped over. Despite encountering difficult events, the characters of Mont and Jimmie are always shown to remain positive. This prevents the film from descending into an angry motion picture and is made particularly clear by the beautiful sentence, “You don’t get to hate it unless you love it first.”
The Last Black Man in San Francisco had its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival on January 26th, 2019. Released the following June in the United States, it received many positive critical reviews for exploring the emotional impact of gentrification through the personal experiences of star and co-writer Jimmie Fails. Most of the critics have specifically praised the performance of Jonathan Majors for being extremely sensitive, even heart-breaking.
“The astonishing Last Black Man in San Francisco is about having little in a grab-what-you-can world. It’s the haunting, elegiac story of Jimmie Fails — playing a version of himself — a young man trying to hold onto a sense of home in San Francisco.” (The New York Times; Posted June 6, 2019).
My Personal Rating: ★★★★ 4 stars
The Last Black Man In San Francisco convinces not only with its brilliant soundtrack but also with its ingenious colour scheme and its numerous pop culture quotes and still more also with its topicality. Talbot’s bittersweet and soulful drama is a deeply personal statement about male friendship, Black masculinity and the search for one’s own identity. Above all, it is also about fear of loss and about a place to call home. In some scenes, it reminded me of a skateboard-light version of MOONLIGHT. All in all, it is a wonderful movie that will linger with me for a while longer. So far, it has been one of my favourite movies in 2021.
The Last Black Man in San Francisco
US release date: 14th June 2019
Directed by: Joe Talbot
Writers: Joe Talbot and Jimmie Fails
Cast: Jimmie Fails, Jonathan Majors, Rob Morgan, Tichina Arnold and Danny Glover
Genre: Drama FSK (voluntary self-regulation): n.a.
Running time: 121 mins.
Language: English OV (Original language with no subtitles)
In cooperation with the Filmhaus cinema, we are giving away two cinema tickets for The Last Black Man in San Francisco.
How can you get hold of them?
Follow us on our page on Facebook or Instagram and tag the friend you would like to take with you to the cinema.
Thursday 19th August to Wednesday 1st September* 2021:
Thu. / 19.08.2021 / 8.30pm
Fr. / 20.08.2021 / 8.30pm
Sat. / 21.08.2021 / 8.30pm
Sun. / 22.08.2021 / 8.30pm
Mon. / 23.08.2021 / 8.30pm
Tue. / 24.08.2021 / 8.30pm
Wed. / 25.08.2021 / 8.30pm
Thu. / 26.08.2021 / 9.00pm
Fr. / 27.08.2021 / 9.00pm
Sat. / 28.08.2021 / 9.00pm
Sun. / 29.08.2021 / 9.00pm
Mon. / 30.08.2021 / 9.00pm
Tue. / 31.08.2021 / 9.00pm
Wed. / 01.09.2021 / 9.00pm
(*Showtimes may be extended)
Filmhaus im KunstKulturQuartier – Filmhauskino Address:
(near the central train station Hauptbahnhof, Nuremberg)
Phone: +49 911 231 7340
Ticket prices: €4.50 – €7.00/ €12.00* (*entry for silent films with live music).
Concessions: Filmhaus café
Please note that, due to the restrictions resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic, it is highly recommended to purchase tickets in advance, either online (via https://booking.cinetixx.de) or during regular opening times (Mon-Fri: 10 am to 6 pm) at the ticket counter of the Kultur Information at the KunstKulturQuartier, Nuremberg.
This article is written in British English.