The tragic story of black jazz singer Billie Holiday in a racially divided 1940s America.
The legendary Billie Holiday, one of the greatest jazz musicians of all time, spent much of her career being adored by fans across the globe, all while the Federal Department of Narcotics targeted her with an undercover sting operation led by black Federal Agent Jimmy Fletcher, with whom she had a tumultuous affair. Beginning in the 1940s in New York City, the federal government became aware of her drug addiction and set their sights on her in a growing effort to escalate and racialise the war on drugs, ultimately aiming to stop her from singing her controversial and heart-wrenching ballad, “Strange Fruit.”
Inspired by Billie Holiday’s life story, The United States vs. Billie Holiday intimately examines the singers’ struggles with addiction, fame and heartbreaking love.
The screening will be preceded by the Festival's Awards Ceremony and the announcement of the winning films, for a total of about one hour.