Another Billie Holiday film? And one that truly explores the iconic singer’s bisexuality? Yes, please!
This week, Hulu released the trailer for its original Billie Holiday biopic, The United States vs. Billie Holiday. The film – directed by Oscar-winner Lee Daniels, written by Pulitzer Prize for Drama-winner Suzan-Lori Parks, and starring Grammy-nominee Andra Day – “unapologetically presents the icon’s complicated, irrepressible life,” according to a press release.
The film follows Holiday as she tries to evade the federal government, which claimed that her performances of “Strange Fruit,” a song that depicts the lynching of Black people, was inciting violence. The film, however, doesn’t stop there. The movie seems to be touching on other aspects of Billie Holiday’s life, such as her drug use. US vs. Billie Holiday, which is loosely based on Johann Hari’s novel Chasing the Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs, also explore’s Holiday’s relationships with hireling Jimmy Fletcher (played by Moonlight’s Trevante Rhodes), husband and manager, McKay (Rob Morgan); and actress Tallulah Bankhead (Natasha Lyonne).
“Whether you are new to the story and legacy of Billie Holiday or know every note she ever sang, I do hope our celebration of this complex woman does justice to a great musical legend and civil rights activist whose artistry resonates as well today, as it did 80 years ago,” Lee Daniels wrote in a statement. “Hulu releasing this film and giving it a platform to be seen nationwide is a blessing, because as recent events reveal, our country has much work to do in fulfilling its promise of a more perfect union.”
Check out the trailer below.