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View events for the week of 8/28/2020
"The Last Black Man in San Francisco" Film Screening & Discussion
Date Friday August 28
Time 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Event Type Screening
Organizer/AuthorMechanics' Institute Library of San Francisco
Location Details
Online via Zoom
Black Lives in Film: "The Last Black Man in San Francisco" Film Screening & Discussion

"Black Lives in Film" is the August theme at CinemaLit, a film screening and discussion series sponsored by the Mechanics' Institute Library of San Francisco.

Fri, Aug 28, 2020, 6:00 PM PDT

Cost: FREE


Come join a screening and discussion of "The Last Black Man in San Francisco" (2019,
120 min) which follows the journey of a young Black man desperate to reclaim the Victorian house once owned by his grandfather in San Francisco's Fillmore neighborhood, at one time a thriving center of African American homes and businesses before racially discriminating redevelopment.and gentrification.

The making of "The Last Black Man in San Francisco" is a lesson in tenacity, creative thinking, and problem solving needed by talented young filmmakers in the 21st century. Millennials
Joe Talbot, director and co-screenwriter, and co-screenwriter Jimmie Fails were best childhood friends growing up in Bernal Heights.

As teenagers, the idea of making a movie starring Fails and based loosely on his life took shape. He remembers the Fillmore Victorian home of his grandfather, foreclosed when the family couldn't meet expenses as the neighborhood gentrified. Fails' dream of returning and reclaiming the property became a consuming personal quest.

"Weird as it sounds, this movie is a love story about me and a house," says Fails.

Being set in a city losing the battle against gentrification, the film gains further resonance by the ever-changing architectural and demographic face of San Francisco. Talbot and his crew had to stay ahead of demolition and construction to keep the film's visual continuity. And the title nearly isn't hyperbole. The United States is 13.4% black. San Francisco is less than 6%.

"A lot of people who originally came here were escaping something, or wanted to be part of a culture," said Talbot. "A lot of the anxiety we feel now is that people are no longer coming to San Francisco because they want to be part of San Francisco. They're just coming for the gold rush."

Adds Fails: "We're San Francisco natives. The movie isn't some hateful diatribe against people coming in – we're just angry we no longer get to have the city that inspired us and nurtured us."

Talbot had never directed a feature film, and secured funding from a Kickstarter campaign. Eventually, "The Last Black Man in San Francisco" won awards at Sundance, and appeared on many "Best" lists of 2019. This wistful, deftly understated and self-assured film mixes a deep love of San Francisco with universal themes of home and belonging.
Added to the calendar on Thursday Aug 13th, 2020 3:47 PM
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