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New Ways of Seeing: The Last Black Man in San Francisco

From Amy Dotson, NWFC Director and PAM Curator, Film & New Media
The Last Black Man in San Francisco
Director: Joe Talbot, United States
Available on Amazon Prime

Jimmie Fails and Joe Talbot were best friends growing up in San Francisco. They were two teenagers who loved movies—making them, writing them, dreaming of a day where their vision of their world would make it to the big screen. I was lucky enough to work with them and read Joe’s early draft of LBMISF and the visuals brought to life were there on paper from the very beginning. Loosely based on Fails’ life and friendship with Joe (he is credited as actor and writer in the film), Talbot spins a mighty, unusual and enormous tale that winds together an exploration of gentrification, masculinity, and the full-throttle love affair two young men have for the city of their birth. Oscillating wildly from poignant to joyful, bizarre to universal and back again—the film offers incredible acting turns from newcomers like Jimmie and legends alike (Danny Glover, in particular, gives a star turn), as well as introduces an incredible new cinematic visionary in Joe Talbot. The only thing we know in life that is consistent is change, and this touching movie about two friends who refuse to give up on the dreams and the home of their youth flips the script in exciting ways that are worth watching.