Less than one year after the release of the “Billie” documentary, singer Billie Holiday is once again given pride of place in a movie.
“The United States vs. Billie Holiday”, a Lee Daniels biopic, is out on June 2, 2021 in France
Lee Daniels is the creator of the “Empire” series. He also directed “Precious” (starring Mariah Carey), and “The Butler” (starring Forest Whitaker).
In the “United States vs. Billie Holiday” biopic, Daniels decided to speak about the singer’s commitment against racism, her thwarted love affairs, as well as her addiction, and her pursuit by the federals.
It is singer Andra Day who plays Billie Holiday. She stars alongside Trevante Rhodes (“Moonlight”, “The Predator”…), Garrett Hedlund, Tyler James Williams (“Everybody Hates Chris”, “Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders”…), and Da’vine Joy Randolph (“Kajillionaire”…).
Day – who has already won the Golden Globe for best actress for her performance as Holiday – has also been named for the Oscar 2021 for best actress.
Billie Holiday (Day) is undoubtedly one of the most fascinating jazz icons, but behind her legendary voice hides a woman whose relentless fight for justice made of her the target of the most powerful of powers…
In 1939, Holiday is already a New-York jazz star when she strikes up “Strange Fruit”, a stirring indictment against racism that stands out from her usual repertoire. The song unleashes controversies and the government gives her to stop singing it. Billie refuses. She becomes the target to be shot.
Holiday did everything to relieve her pain and forget about her difficult childhood, her unfortunate choices in terms of men, and the difficulty to live as a Black woman in America. Drug has been one of her loopholes. The government will turn this weakness against her and use her addiction to drugs to make her fall. Ready to do anything, Commissioner of the U.S. Treasury Department’s Federal Bureau of Narcotics Harry Anslinger (Hedlund) entrusts Jimmy Fletcher (Rhodes) – a Black officer – to infiltrate circles the singer evolves in. But their scheme will meet a major obstacle: Jimmy falls in love with Billie…