The United States vs. Billie Holiday is a 2021 American biographical film about singer Billie Holiday, based on the book Chasing the Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs by Johann Hari. Directed by Lee Daniels, the film stars Andra Day in the titular role, along with Trevante Rhodes, Leslie Jordan, Garrett Hedlund, Miss Lawrence, Adriane Lenox, Natasha Lyonne, Rob Morgan, Da’Vine Joy Randolph, Evan Ross, and Tyler James Williams.
The movie begins with text that in 1937, an anti-lynching bill was considered by the Senate, but did not pass. Billie Holiday rose to fame in part due to her song “Strange Fruit”, about lynching. In 1957, Billie, accompanied by Freddy meets with a radio journalist Reginald Lord Devine for a interview. He asks her what it’s like to be a “colored woman”, and asks her about the trouble she keeps getting into because of “Strange Fruit”. Billie says it’s about human right, something the government often forgets.
Andra Day as Billie Holiday
Trevante Rhodes as Jimmy Fletcher
Garrett Hedlund as Harry J. Anslinger
Leslie Jordan as Reginald Lord Devine
Miss Lawrence as Miss Freddy
Adriane Lenox as Mrs. Fletcher
Natasha Lyonne as Tallulah Bankhead
Rob Morgan as Louis McKay
Da’Vine Joy Randolph as Roslyn
Evan Ross as Sam Williams
Tyler James Williams as Lester Young
Tone Bell as John Levy
Blake DeLong as Agent Carter
Dana Gourrier as Sadie Fagan
Melvin Gregg as Joe Guy
Erik LaRay Harvey as Monroe
Ray Shell as Carl the Drummer
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