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Friday Film Club: Andra Day Anchors "The United States vs Billie Holiday"

The "Strange Fruit" singer is an example of the toll celebrity takes on vulnerable women, especially Black women.

The last in the triptych of blockbuster Black movies premiering this Black history month — the former being Malcom & Marie and Judas and the Black Messiah — is the biographical feature film The United States vs Billie Holiday.

The Billie Holiday biopic has been long in the works. Finally, the story of Billie Holiday and her persecution by the US government is streaming on Hulu.

Big names have all teamed up to carry the weight of the story, from director Lee Daniels of The Butler to a screenplay based on the book Chasing the Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs by Johann Hari adapted by award winning-playwright Suzan Lori-Parks. The film also stars Trevante Rhodes of Moonlight, Da'Vine Joy Randolph of High Fidelity, and Andra Day, Grammy award-winning singer-songwriter known for "Rise Up" as Holiday herself.

The United States vs. Billie Holiday - Trailer (Official) • A Hulu Original www.youtube.com

The film sees Holiday at the height of her career, battling the censorship from the government, racism in her life and around her, and a drug addiction. The United States vs Billie Holiday makes clear that Holiday's smear campaigns, surveillance, and brief imprisonment were an effort to stop her from singing "Strange Fruit" — a carefully calculated operation by the Federal Bureau of Narcotics who feared Holiday's song would incite protest and unrest.

The song "Strange Fruit," known as one of the first and greatest commercial protest songs, is a haunting, unflinching condemnation of lynching and is now Holiday's legacy; but most people don't know its significance to Holiday nor the country.

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"I Care A Lot" and the Fatal Hollowness of Girlboss Feminism

Mainstream feminism needs to step away from corporate feminism.

Girlboss Starterpack: This haircut, a pantsuit, and a vape

Contains Spoilers for I Care A Lot

I thought I knew how I Care A Lot would end just because it stars Rosamund Pike of Gone Girl fame.

Like Gone Girl, I expected Pike to come out on top, for her to go through the ringer in pursuit of her convoluted goals but end up with some version of the future she wants. In I Care A Lot, Pike's character Marla Grayson expects this too.

I Care a Lot | Official Trailer | Netflix www.youtube.com


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