The movie

The United States vs. Billie Holiday

The legendary chanteuse Billie Holiday sang Strange Fruit, a reason for the FBI to put her on a blacklist and make her life as difficult as possible.

Length: 130 min
Country: USA
Language spoken: English
Language subtitles: Dutch
Cast: Andra Day, Garrett Hedlund, Natasha Lyonne
Director: Lee Daniels
Release date: 2021


Andra Day was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role earlier this year for her performance as the legendary chanteuse Billie Holiday in Lee Daniels’ (‘Precious’) biopic, which focuses on the singer’s purported romance with the FBI agent (Trevante Rhodes) tasked with railroading her into a prison sentence for her heroin use. Day’s performance alone is worth the price of admission, but Daniels’ timely drama makes cogent and damning points about how the more things change, the more they stay the same in the USA…

‘Andra Day, who plays Holiday, is a canny and charismatic performer, and the film’s hectic narrative is punctuated with nightclub and concert-hall scenes that capture some of the singer’s magnetism. Rather than lip-sync the numbers, Day sings them in a voice that has some of Holiday’s signature breathy rasp and delicate lilt, and suggests her ability to move from whimsy to anguish and back in the space of a phrase.’—A.O. Scott, The New York Times