A look at ‘The Last Black Man in San Francisco,’ a tribute to the city

Bay Area

SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — A breakout new, independent film about San Francisco and the changes taking place is getting a lot of industry buzz and the key players, on screen and off, are San Francisco natives.

KRON4’s Pam Moore spoke with one of the local actors involved who has his own story of the city to tell.

The independent film with a different and tender perspective on a changing San Francisco just opened and is in theaters now and is considered a ‘must see.’

It is loaded with local talent. It’s a movie that hits home in today’s San Francisco about the challenges and effects of gentrification.

“We know in these times of tech and times, I call the big box narrative,” said Actor Jamal Trulove. “It’s thought provoking when it comes to, how do we keep this culture and how do we keep these people in the city.”

Trulove is a San Francisco native, basking the success of his first feature film role all about his hometown.

The Last Black Man in San Francisco is getting rave reviews, winning major awards at the Sundance Film Festival.

The film is being called ‘authentic” and ‘a heartfelt tribute to the city.’

It is the story of two young men, long time friends who grew up in the city, one whose grandfather built a Victorian home in the Fillmore district that the family lost long ago.

Trulove plays “Kofi,” a friend of the two main characters.

“I came from a tough area [and] my character Kofi is basically my life,” Trulove said. “I like to believe that parents teach kids everything good inside the house, but once they step outside it’s a different ballgame. Once you go to school, you gotta socially fit in. I think that’s what the film actually captures.”

The film had two Bay Area premieres, in San Francisco and in Oakland.

It is based on the life of actor and co-writer Jimmie Fails.

It’s co-written and is also the first film for director Joe Talbot.

“We wanted to make a love letter to the only city I’ve ever lived in,” Talbot said. “A city we love, we grew up in, in part hoping this will be part of the conversation about what’s happening in SF right now”.

The movie has an even broader relevance to Trulove who has his own San Francisco story.

Trulove was convicted of murder and spent six years in prison.

The conviction was overturned. He was acquitted in the second trial, the jury agreeing, two San Francisco police officers not only fabricated evidence, but also withheld information which may have helped Truloves’ case.

Just this spring, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors awarded him more than $13 million dollars.

But he rejects calling verdict a ‘wrongful conviction.’

“Wrongfully convicted is like, ‘oh my bad. I’m sorry this happened to you, like it was all an accident,’ being framed is on purpose. It’s purposely targeting. That’s what I was. That’s what happened to me,” Trulove said.

There is one common thread among all the key players in ‘The Last Black Man in San Francisco’ — their hearts are left in San Francisco.

As for what’s next for Trulove — he says the sky is the limit.

He hopes to produce a film on what’s happened to him ‘The Trulove Story.’

He was introduced to the film project through ‘United Playaz,’ a San Francisco community organization.

The film is currently in theaters.

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