Billie Holliday and Harry Anslinger

Watching The United States vs. Billie Holliday on Hulu. Many people are unaware of how much Billie Holliday (and her dangerously true song “Strange Fruit“) drew the ire of the government and racist drug warrior Harry Anslinger in particular during his ramping up for the war on drugs.

This true story is taken in part from the research in Johann Hari’s amazing book “Chasing the Scream: The Opposite of Addiction is Connection,” which I talked about at length here on DrugWarRant, and the script for the film is by Suzan-Lori Parks. Andra Day, in a very powerful performance, plays Billie.

I thought the direction by Lee Daniels was a little uneven, but it was still an amazing (and disturbing) story to watch, and always wonderful to hear Billie’s songs.

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