Trailer Breakdown: 'The United States vs. Billie Holiday'

The first trailer for "The United States vs. Billie Holiday" tells of the tragic case brought against the singer. Let's break it down.

By Jesse Conner

Andra Day in "The United States vs. Billie Holiday."

© Paramount Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

The United States vs. Billie Holiday

Biography / 2021

The Federal Bureau of Narcotics launches an undercover sting operation against jazz singer Billie Holiday.

With the new release of the first trailer for "The United States vs. Billie Holiday" comes a peek into Billie Holiday's life and the impact that she and her 1939 song “Strange Fruit” had by basically inadvertently commencing the Civil Rights movement.

The film explores the case where Billie Holiday was targeted for drug crimes by Federal Bureau of Narcotics. She did have an addiction, but they mainly targeted her following the release of her controversial lynching song mentioned above.

© Paramount Pictures

The racial inequalities in the 1940s were prevalent and because Billie Holiday was in the middle of the struggle, using her music to shine a light on the ongoing issue, she paid the price as the FBI used her drug addiction to attempt to discredit her.

Although it's tough to decipher too much from the trailer, we see a whirlwind of her highs and lows mixed together, showing us the strides she made for equality through her music.

© Paramount Pictures

The Lee Daniels-directed film features actress Andra Day as Billie Holiday facing off against Garett Hedlund as a racist FBI official named Harry Anslinger.

To see the new leading lady in action, click below to watch the full trailer.

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