Movie directed by : Lee Daniels, Writing credits : Susan Lori Parks, Johann hari (based on his book "Chosing the scream, the first and last days of the war on drugs"), produced by : Jordan Fudge, Jeff Kirschenbaum, Joe Roth, Tucker Tooley, Pamela Oas Williams, Lee Daniels Entertainment, Roth / Kirchenbaum Films, Hulu, Metropolitan Film Export, Paramount, music by : Kris Bowers, cinematography by : Andrew Dunn, film editing by : Jay Rabinovitz, cast : Andra Day, Leslie Jordan, Lawrence Washington, Natasha Lyonne, Trevante Rhodes, Garett Hedlund, ..., (2021), 2h 09mn.
The African - American singer Billie Holidays sings for the first time the song "Strange Fruit" in 1939 on the Cafe Society stage at New - York City. Written and printed in 1937 by Abel Meeropol it depicts the lynching of African - American people in the deep south during a period of time where a lot of persons don't care about this crimes. The "Strange Fruit" words perform by the sweat and deep Billie Holiday voice weren't appreciate by the US Governement and specially by the FBI director Edgar J. Hoover. He gives the order to the chief of the Narcotics Office Harry Anslinger keep watching Billie for finding evidences about her drug addiction. Hoover follows the goal harassing Billie for breaking her reputation. He wants to introduce her as an activist loving drugs and will play a huge part with some people around the singer in her destructurated end of career. The film director Lee Daniels known for "The Butler" and "Precious" depicts with precision the Billie fight. He chooses for performing Billie a blues singer Andra Day and it's a good choice. The actress recieves the Golden Globe and the movie helps her knowing better the diva. It isn't the first time that a singer plays as Billie. In 1972 the film director Sidney J Furie makes "Lady Sings the Blues" with Diana Ross, Billy Dee Williams and Richard Pryor. The movie underlines the strength of Holiday's song towards the Ross performance and speaks about her addictions but don't say anything about the FBI harassement on the diva.