It’s rare to hear a commercial audience cheer at the end of a drama, but that’s exactly what happened at my screening of The Last Black Man in San Francisco. To be sure, the film deserves an enthusiastic reaction. It’s gorgeously shot, with the cinematic flourishes you only see from a filmmaker with an innate understanding of the medium. But it’s the smaller moments—movie night with a blind father, a chance encounter with an estranged mother, friends who grew apart briefly finding each other again—that give this film life. And it does feel wonderfully alive, while not ignoring the complexities of the story it’s trying to tell.