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Billie

Country: UK, Language: English, 96 mins

  • Director: James Erskine
  • Producer: Victoria Gregory; Barry Clark-Ewers

CGiii Comment

To make this film about the incomparable Billie Holiday, director James Erskine (The Ice King, PSIFF 2019) had access to a treasure trove of previously unheard material. In the 1970s, Holiday biographer Linda Lipnack Kuehl recorded hundreds of hours of interviews with the jazz singer’s friends, lovers, musicians, relatives, even the fed who busted her for drugs in 1947 and the oddly jolly pimp who had her turning tricks at 13. Her life was rough, and Billie doesn’t shy away from the wreckage. But out of that pain and a voracious lust for life arose the greatest jazz singer of the century. Featuring generous clips of her performances — her wrenching London rendition of Strange Fruit will chill your bones — and unfiltered insights from Sylvia Syms, Tony Bennett, Count Basie, John Hammond and many others, Billie is essential viewing for anyone who’s fallen under the spell of the great Lady Day.


Trailer...