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Billie is the far and away the most definitive Billie Holiday biography ever put on screen, a film that celebrates her magic and examines the demons that haunted her, chemical and human.
The new documentary Billie is for music nerds what hieroglyphics on a cave wall are for anthropologists: not so much a revelation as clear confirmation of a more nuanced life than previously known. It also has one heck of a back story.
James Erskine’s film showcases the unforgettable Holiday voice: her elegantly casual, almost negligent readings of melodies, with a sensual moan or purr that was on the verge of a sob.