This week we’re excited to present a conversation from the 2024 edition of New Directors/New Films with Exhibiting Forgiveness director Titus Kaphar and lead actor André Holland.

One of the contemporary art world’s most important painters, Titus Kaphar creates powerful work that is multidisciplinary in nature and profound in historical meaning, often incorporating multiple layers and sculptural dimensions to his canvases. Kaphar brings the same sense of profoundly felt dynamism to his startlingly accomplished cinematic debut, Exhibiting Forgiveness, a wrenching work of emotional depth and visual flair starring the magnificent André Holland in one of the actor’s greatest screen roles so far. Painter Tarrell Rodin (Holland) is a loving and grounded husband to singer Aisha (Andra Day) and father to young Jermaine (Daniel Berrier), but he’s violently haunted by nightmares of his childhood. While preparing for a new gallery show, Tarrell finds his life upended by the sudden return of his father, La’Ron (John Earl Jelks). His mother, Joyce (Aunjanue Ellis-Taylor), has forgiven La’Ron for the abuse and addiction of their family’s troubled past, but Tarrell cannot bring himself to do the same.

While working on his large-scale canvases, Tarrell journeys to his past, wondering if he can alter the pain of his present. Kaphar’s film—as provocative in its depiction of unresolvable familial crises as it is about the meaning and co-opting of Black voices in the contemporary art scene—wrestles with difficult, personal questions without settling on easy answers.

The conversation was moderated by New Directors/New Films selection committee member Madeline Whittle.

Listen/watch below: