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New biopic on Hulu ‘The United States vs. Billie Holiday’ stirs up controversy

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The movie makes waves in its portrait of the iconic jazz singer

Grammy nominated singer Andra Day appears in her first lead acting role in the new Hulu film “The United States vs. Billie Holiday”. The film has already earned the actress two Golden Globe nominations, for best original song and for best actress in a motion picture drama. 

The film’s cast also includes Trevante Rhodes, Garrett Hedlund, Natasha Lyonne, and Da’Vine Joy Randolph. 

The film has been met with some criticism, in the mean time, as some that have already watched the film point out the movie fails to fully encapsulate the vibrance and stardom of Billie Holiday. Yet others offer praise in how the film explores the singer’s rough up-bringing and shines a light on the treatment of African Americans living in a Jim Crow America during the 1940’s.

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The movie follows the jazz singer, chronicling how the government went after her for her ballad, an anti-racist song titled “Strange Fruit” that spoke about the lynching of African American people and racism. For fear that its popularity would spark a civil rights movement, Holiday became the target by the Federal Department of Narcotics with much of the film focusing on her drug addiction as government tries to quiet and derail the star.

“The United States vs. Billie Holiday” streams on Hulu starting February 26, 2021. 


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