The official trailer for the Sundance Film Festival breakout “The Last Black Man in San Francisco,” which has sparked conversations among viewers about gentrification and family legacies, was released Thursday.
“The Last Black Man in San Francisco,” a debut feature film by director/co-writer Joe Talbot, follows the story of Jimmie Fails, who is on a quest to reclaim the San Francisco home built by his grandfather in his hometown, according to a description of the film.
“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 film description read.
The A24 film is inspired by the real-life story of actor Jimmie Fails, whose character in the film has the same name. “The Last Black Man” also features cast members Jonathan Majors, Danny Glover, Tichina Arnold and Rob Morgan.
The trailer opens with a voiceover by Glover, who says, “We built these ships, dredged these canals, in the San Francisco they never knew existed. This is our home.”
“The Last Black Man” premiered at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival, which spanned from Jan. 24 to Feb. 3. It won the U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Award for Creative Collaboration and an award for directing.
Many viewers and critics have since recognized the film for covering important themes of race, income inequality, gentrification, family and friendship.
The black population in San Francisco, with a historically black Fillmore District once widely regarded as the “Harlem of the West,” has notably dwindled over the past few decades.
Last year, the Urban Displacement Project at the University of California, Berkeley, released a report connecting the state of San Francisco’s present-day gentrification to a history of redlining and racial discrimination.
The black population in San Francisco was approximately 96,000 in 1970, according to data gathered by the Bay Area Transportation Commission and the Association of Bay Area Governments. By 2010, that numbered reportedly declined to nearly 49,000, the data suggested.
In an interview with IndieWire last month, Talbot, who co-wrote the script with Rob Richert, called Fails “brave and vulnerable” for sharing his story for the film.
“In a way we kind of archived the city that we knew and grew up in, because it’s not the same anymore, and I don’t think it will be,” Fails added.
“The Last Black Man” is slated to hit theaters this summer.