Duration: 13 minutes
Directors: Emmy-winning filmmaker Ben Proudfoot
and Emmy-winning composer Kris Bowers
Executive Producer: Oscar-nominated and Emmy-winning filmmaker Ava DuVernay
A Concerto Is a Conversation
Kris Bowers is one of Hollywood’s rising young composers. At 29, he scored the Oscar-winning film “Green Book” (2018), and this year he premiered a new violin concerto, “For a Younger Self,” at the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles. For all that success, though, he says that as a Black composer, “I’ve been wondering whether or not I’m supposed to be in the spaces that I’m in.”
In Ben Proudfoot and Kris Bowers’s “A Concerto Is a Conversation,” Bowers traces the process of breaking into new spaces through generations of sacrifice that came before him, focusing on the story of his grandfather Horace Bowers. As a young man, he left his home in the Jim Crow South, eventually ending up in Los Angeles. Encountering discrimination at every turn, he and his wife, Alice, nevertheless made a life as business owners.
Today, their legacy lives on through their family and community in South Los Angeles, where a stretch of Central Avenue was recently designated Bowers Retail Square — in case any question remained about whether it’s a place they belong.
Academy Award Nominee for Best Documentary Short (2021)
“It’s a film that is not to be missed.” “Captures the beauty of two generations sharing their mutual experiences.” – Spectrum News 1 The SoCal Scene
“Poignant, elegant and lyrical.” “Magical thrill.” – Les Roka, The Utah Review
“One of the best-edited shorts I have seen at Sundance. The story is incredibly touching, and I love the music throughout. The sound design in this documentary is phenomenal, never overshadowing the conversation that is going on and instead helping drive the film forward. Absolutely stunning.” – Film for Thought
“An endearing and cementing love letter from a grandson to his grandfather that transcends generations, ethnicity and even music. This hit me hard…Sent the tears flowing.” – Letterboxd
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