Another chapter from the incomparable Billie Holiday‘s life is officially on its way, with the talented Andra Day at the forefront. The United States vs. Billie Holiday, directed by the renowned Lee Daniels, and written by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Suzan-Lori Parks, is set to debut on Hulu on February 26.
The biographical drama is inspired by a chapter dedicated to Holiday from Johann Mari’s bestselling book Chasing The Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs. The film follows Holiday, portrayed by Day, in her fight against federal agents who worked tirelessly to escalate and racialize the war on drugs, with intentions to cease her future performances of her controversial ballad, “Strange Fruit.”
“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,” shared Daniels in a press release. “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.”
Day, who is making her film debut, isn’t sharing the spotlight alone. Trevante Rhodes, Natasha Lyonne, Garrett Hedlund, Miss Lawrence, Rob Morgan, Da’Vine Joy Randolph, Evan Ross, and more are set to appear in the film.
The United States vs. Billie Holiday follows the recent documentary, BILLIE, which was released in November 2020. A soundtrack was attached to the hour-long doc.
In other Holiday news, the jazz icon’s song “Solitude” will be inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame this year.
Watch the trailer for The United States vs. Billie Holiday below.