Film Screening 18th June, 2021

Poster for The United States vs. Billie Holiday

The United States vs. Billie Holiday 

7:30 PM, 18th June, 2021

  • MA
  • 130 mins
  • 2021
  • Lee Daniels
  • Andra Day, Trevante Rhodes, Natasha Lyonne, Garrett Hedlund

In the 1940s, American jazz musician Billie Holiday (Andra Day) becomes an early champion of the Civil Rights movement with her signature song “Strange Fruit”. Inspired by the horrific things she saw while touring the South, the song is a haunting and incendiary ballad about the persecution of young Black men – so it should come as no surprise that the U.S. government wanted to stop Holiday from performing it.

Hoping to use Holiday’s history of drug use to put her away, the Federal Bureau of Narcotics mounts a sting operation and sends Black agent Jimmy Fletcher (Trevante Rhodes) undercover to gather evidence. But things get even more complicated when Fletcher and Holiday instead have a tumultuous affair, which causes him to question his loyalties.

First-time actress – and now Oscar nominee – Andra Day mesmerises as Holiday, delivering a raw and heartfelt performance in this no-holds-barred depiction of the singer as she experiences harassment on a personal and societal scale over the course of a decade.