Programme

THE UNITED STATES VS. BILLIE HOLIDAY

Lee Daniels

USA, 2021 / 131 min / English OV with subt. French & Dutch / Drama, Biopic, Music

Awards Night Film

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.

Screenings
Sat 13/03 19:00 Kinepolis Kirchberg EN OV with subt. FR & NL subt. Public https://luxfilmfestfilms.megatix.be/en/HO00003343
Sat 13/03 19:00 Kinepolis Kirchberg EN OV with subt. FR & NL subt. Projection privée
Cast & Credits
Cast 
Andra Day, Trevante Rhodes, Garrett Hedlund, Natasha Lyonne, Da'Vine Joy Randolph, Rob Morgan, Evan Ross
Screenplay 
Suzan-Lori Parks, based on the book “Chasing the Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs” by Johann Hari
Cinematographer 
Andrew Dunn
Sound 
Robert Hein
Set 
Daniel T. Dorrance
Music 
Kris Bowers
Production 
Lee Daniels Entertainment, New Slate Ventures, Roth/Kirschenbaum Films
Distribution 
The Searchers
Biography

Lee Daniels was born in 1959 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. After studying at the University of Missouri, he moved to Hollywood. At the age of 21, he founded his own nursing company before selling it to get into the film business. After several producing credits, he got into directing with his first feature Shadowboxer (2005). In 2009, his career took a decisive turn thanks to Precious which earned him six Oscar nominations, winning Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Supporting Actress. His next feature, The Paperboy (2012), was nominated for a Golden Globe and the Palme d’Or in Cannes. In 2013, he directed The Butler, focusing once more on racial inequalities in the US and winning accolades. The United States vs. Billie Holiday (2021) is his latest feature. Besides directing for cinema, he has also executive produced, written and directed multiple episodes of the critically acclaimed TV series Empire (2015-2020).

Filmography
  • 2021 – The United States vs. Billie Holiday
  • 2020 – Good People
  • 2016 – Star (3 episodes of the TV series)
  • 2013 – Lee Daniels’ The Butler
  • 2015 – Empire (3 episodes of the TV series)
  • 2012 – The Paperboy
  • 2009 – Precious
  • 2005 – Shadowboxer