The Last Black Man in San Francisco @ The Ross

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Jimmie Fails

Danny Glover’s narration sets the tone for The Last Black Man Standing. Directed by Joe Talbot, The Last Black Man Standing is a haunting story about holding on to the past and stories one has been told about the past to manage day-to-day living especially in the wake of loss. Jimmie Fails stars as himself, a young black man who has come of age in the city of San Francisco. His family has lost a magnificent Victorian home in the Fillmore district, and this loss, or shall I write, death, has affected Jimmie to such an extent that he returns from time-to-time to give it a facelift much to the consternation of its newest inhabitants. His only consolation is an anecdote handed down to him by his father, James Sr. Jimmie’s grandfather built the house with his bare hands in the 1940s, and it is this history that endears him to the house. When the new inhabitants vacate, Jimmie considers reclaiming the house.

Screen Shot 2019-07-28 at 1.53.53 AMBut his father, James Sr., lacerates his ideas with a disturbing reality check.  In spite of his father’s warning, Jimmie and his best friend, Montgomery, takeover the house. The interior is fabulous. Adam Newport-Berry, cinematographer, ensures a full sweep of its grandeur accentuated by high ceilings and wood floors, a sauna, staircase, and a hidden room. Once moved in, Jimmie and Montgomery just … Be …

On the whole, The Last Man in San Francisco is a heartwarming film about a Black man’s love for his city and how an iconic architectural structure shaped and molded him. Talbot deftly enfolds within the film issues of housing, gentrification, and displacement in San Francisco that challenge Jimmie’s every emotion. Questions of the African American energies that went into the building of the city, and it is the history of their blood, sweat, and toil that makes it difficult for Jimmie to wrestle his heart away from San Francisco.

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With every stage in life, we must move on or else remain stagnant as has Montgomery, who lives and takes care of his grandfather in a house overlooking a contaminated bay. Ironically, it is Montgomery who challenges his friend to explore the horizon waiting for him after he learns the truth about why Jimmie and his family lost their home.

What Montgomery does with the information sets Jimmie on an entirely different course.

The Last Black Man in San Francisco plays through August 8 at the Ross Media Arts Center in Lincoln.

Also playing through August 8 is Wild Rose, a film by Tom Harper about a rebellious country singer in Glasgow who dreams of stardom in Nashville, Tennessee.

Listen to the Review @29:01

http://netnebraska.org/interactive-multimedia/other/friday-live-bone-creek-chautauqua-norfolk-literature-festival-and-more

 

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