BILLIE HOLIDAY – A SENSATION

Billie Holiday mit Mister_2 William P. Gottlieb Street Art Billie
Cassandra Wilson Billie at Carnegie Hall_1 William P. Gottlieb

April 7, 2015 marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of jazz singer Billie Holiday (1915-1959). A worthy occasion to honour the unforgettable jazz icon.
Her life was a roller-coaster ride and has since been the subject of countless myths, legends and rumours. She found true happiness only in music. She lived for jazz and gave it all she had to give. She loved to associate and perform with musicians. The rest of her life was characterised by pain, humiliation, an unquenchable thirst for love, depression and despair. In recent years, an increasing number of records and stories about her have come to light. Many of them stem from people who accompanied Billie Holiday at different stages of her life. Comments from confidants, acquaintances and friends call into question many of the myths and reveal a strong personality, a woman who was anything but a pitiful victim of drugs, alcohol, men, skin colour and racial segregation or the circumstances under which she grew up. This new appreciation of “Lady Day” has never before been revealed in a film. It focuses – visually and acoustically – on stories told by people she was close to, refutes many of the myths that surround her personality, and presents a very different, far more realistic portrait of this jazz icon.

Music / Culture
Length 52’ HD
Film by Katja Duregger
Production TAG/TRAUM Filmproduktion in co-production with ARTE/SWR, 2015
Original Title Billie Holiday – A Sensation