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Synopsis

What if the most important story in your life was not your own?
Billie Holiday, one of the greatest voices of all time, was always controversial; a proud black woman who preferred white audiences, an exploited artist and a violent drug addict, a loyal friend and a vindictive lover, a blues singer who didn’t sing the blues, and when she sang the seminal protest song 'Strange Fruit', an enemy of the state. Her enigmatic accounts of her own life were a mix of half-truths and free-form improvisations.
Then, in 1971, journalist Linda Lipnack Kuehl set out to write the definitive biography of BIllie. Over 8 years, she tracked down and tape-recorded over 200 hours of interviews with the extraordinary characters that populated the iconic singer’s short, tumultuous life. Raw and brutally honest, incredible testimonies from Charles Mingus, Sarah Vaughan, Tony Bennett, Count Basie, Holiday's step-parents, school friends, jail-mates, lawyers, pushers, pimps and even the FBI agents who arrested her - but Lipnack Kuehl’s book was never finished and the tapes never heard. Until now.
Anchored around these never-before-heard interviews, BILLIE plays out like a film noir. Melding archive, drama, animation and still images, BILLIE captures the complexity of a legend through the eyes of the woman whose obsession would lead to her own mysterious, untimely death.

Details

Year
2019
Type of film
Features
Format
DCP
Director
James Erskine
Producer
Victoria Gregory, Barry Clark-Ewers
Executive Producer
Will Clarke, Andy Mayson, Mike Runagall

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Last updated 2nd May 2019

Production Company

New Black Films Limited
Victoria Gregory
5 Denmark Street
London
WC2H 8LP
+44 (0)20 7836 8660
victoria@newblackfilms.com
http://www.newblackfilms.com

Sales
Company

Altitude Film Sales
34 Foubert's Place
London
W1F 7PX
+44 (0)20 7478 7612
info@altitudefilment.com
http://www.altitudefilment.com/sales

Endeavor Content (Co-representation North American sales)
Negeen Yazdi
nyazdi_asst@endeavorcontent.com