Gentrification in the Movies

It’s not a comparison most would make, is it? After all, what could two movies that are seemingly as vehemently opposed as The Farewell and The Last Black Man in San Francisco possibly have in common? One is a story about a Chinese American woman dealing with her grandmother’s illness, and the other is an account of a young African American man attempting to reclaim a childhood home he can no longer afford.

As strange a pairing as these two A24 releases may seem at first glance, there’s a lot more shared idiosyncrasies than what meets the casual observer eye. At their core, both of these films are fish-out-of-water narratives in which white lies serve as the antidote to the terminal loss of home.

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the last black man in san francisco trailer

One of the Sundance Film Festival’s biggest hits was a little film by a new first-time director that is becoming the indie hit to beat this summer. The Last Black Man in San Francisco follows the footsteps of last year’s searing indictments of gentrification, Blindspotting and Sorry to Bother You, but with the addition of a warm, vibrant color palette and director Joe Talbot‘s lyrical direction. The winner of the US Dramatic Directing Award was picked up for distribution by A24, who released the first The Last Black Man in San Francisco trailer.

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The Last Black Man in San Francisco review

At last year’s Sundance Film Festival, both Blindspotting and Sorry to Bother You weaved Oakland’s gentrification into their underlying stories. At this year’s fest, co-writer/director and fifth generation San Franciscan Joe Talbot addresses the subject in an even more direct way with his memorable debut film, The Last Black Man in San FranciscoRead More »