"The Last Black Man in San Francisco" stars on fighting for their hometown

Danny Glover and Jimmie Fails talk new film
Danny Glover and Jimmie Fails talk new film 04:50

"The Last Black Man in San Francisco" is hardly the first time art has mourned the gentrification – some would call it death – of the beloved California city but what sets this new film apart from others that explore similar themes is its star and creator Jimmie Fails.

The film, which earned top honors at the Sundance Film Festival, is based on Fails' life and follows his journey to reclaim his childhood home in a neighborhood his family can no longer afford.

"Home represents a lot of different things for a lot of different people," Fails told "CBS This Morning." "My home represented family, represented black ownership. My grandfather owned that property so that's pretty much why the house means so much to me."  

In his first role aside from the short that inspired the movie, Fails stars alongside award-winning actor Danny Glover as the grandfather of Fails' best friend.  How he got him on board? He called the native San Franciscan.

"I was so moved by the story," Glover said. "I lived in the same neighborhood that I've lived in since I'm 11 years old. My parents had an opportunity because they were postal workers, like a number of other African-Americans, had an opportunity to purchase a home and so their children didn't have the same opportunity because they didn't have the jobs, one, and the price of housing increased dramatically. There were programs in place to build affordable housing in San Francisco. Those were cut off. And so you'd find them on the outskirts of the political dynamic of San Francisco."

One of the key parts of the movie is Fails' relationship with his best friend Montgomery. It's a rarely depicted dynamic between two black men that's tender and loving without being romantic.

"Growing up in the inner city … toxic masculinity is always a thing. So you want to be able to explore that. I think that's important for younger black men to see, too.  You don't have to always be tough," Fails said.

"These are two young men who I knew loved the city," Glover added. "And that's what makes this. They loved the city and everything else. And it's this generation that are gonna be the ones who are gonna battle and be in the city and fight for the city. So we have to fight for the city."

"The Last Black Man in San Francisco" is in theaters now