As Kris Bowers explains to his grandfather the concerto he has written (“For a Younger Self”) is a soloist performing along with an orchestra with both of them conversing with each other through their music.
Kris Bowers is a virtuoso jazz pianist and film composer. At 29 he scored the Oscar winning film “Green Book”. He has been playing the piano since a young boy.
Despite his success he feels as a black man whether he should be where he is today which emphasizes the psychological effects of racism.
In this short Kris is having a conversation with his grandfather Horace as he knows his grandfather has cancer and he wants to know more about his life.
Horace relates a story that rattles him to this day growing up in a small community in Florida he goes to a white owned grocery store where a 7-year-old asks his father, “What can I get you boy?” At that point he vowed to get out as soon as he reached the age of maturity and off he did finally making it to Los Angeles noting the segregated lunch counters in the bus station restaurant.
Horace lands a job at dry cleaners and he buys the store two years later. When he applied to the bank in person they refused him a loan but he was approved when he sent in his application by mail.
One senses a short with Kris and Horace deserves a full-length documentary. The short is a reminder of the racism of old and of new particularly in the dying days of former President Trump. That Kris Bowers has self doubts about his success shows a subtler form of racism than what his grandfather experienced.
The short was directed by Ben Proudfoot and Kris Bowers. You can see the short here https://www.nytimes.com/video/opinion/100000007461606/a-concerto-is-a-conversation.html