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The Last Black Man in San Francisco Review

A man and his best friend tries to reclaim the house build by his grandfather, but soon this journey begins to test their current belonging in a place they call home.

What a film. This is an illustrious representation of poetry, life, and documentary. Director Joe Talbot makes his feature-length debut in style and certainly does not hold back. Beautifully paced and developed, this film tells the story of friendship while also shouting out the claims on a profound city that in his eyes, we know nothing about.

Some shots in this film are breathtaking. Talbot uses color and innovative filmmaking to emerge the audience into the lost city of San Francisco and most of the time it felt like I was really there. Jumping between POVs, there are times where characters break the fourth wall and those moments were the most striking. The story also touches on stereotypes, the science of people, and the inner emotion of Black man. To keep the viewer on their feet, this film is also as hilarious as it is emotional. With an R rating, language definitely takes the cake, but it’s not overdone like many other films who throw around the F-bomb and think they’ll garner a laugh. Instead, language is strategically used to the point where it can go unnoticed.

Without a question, the best part of this film are the performances. There are some familiar faces who do not need to be named (I’ll let you see it for yourself) and they are phenomenal. However, the real stars are Jimmie Fails and Jonathon Mayors as the main characters. Each have an internal secret that is painful to watch, even when not speaking. They’re extremely specific types of people and the heights they take this film is truly incredible .

Some may say the film is slow but be sure to pay attention because the last half does not sit still. Similar to Barry Jenkins “Moonlight”, we are given another film with visual class and poetic movement that is riveting to view on the big screen and far from the norm.

This film won several awards at Sundance earlier this year.

It deserved every single one.


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