The United States vs Billie Holiday (2020)

Directed by Lee Daniels.

Andra Day, Trevante Rhodes, Garret Hedlund

A biographical drama about singer Billie Holiday. It was good to see the movie as I learned about Holiday because I knew of the name but had no idea about her music and life. Andra Day is nominated for a Golden Globe for her performance.

The film centers on Billie Holiday and how the government went after her just because of a song that they thought incited violence. Another case of abuse of power and censorship. Makes me think of how the feds went after John Lennon because he had influence and the government wanted to shut him down. The song in question is Strange Fruit and it is about the practice of lynching of black people in America. Lynching as I found is that they hanged someone on a tree. The pictures are horrible and the song is describing a body as a fruit on a tree. And the case of 14-year-old Emmett Till is simply sad.

The movie is a great bio-pic because we do see aspects and struggles Holiday went through and how the government went after her even using unethical methods. The movie got me interested in the story of her life. I thought it was going to be more about her legally going against the United States, but I think the movie is more about how she handled the situation and her life as a result of singing the song and having the government go after her.

Andra Day was amazing in her performance. I think she held nothing back and showed the emotional aspects of the character so well. Her performance is worth watching.

The movie is now on Hulu and if you like bio-pics like me I recommend this movie. I thought I would see it little by little and I ended up seeing it completely.

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