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THE UNITED STATES VS. BILLIE HOLIDAY
2021, Hulu, USA, Dir: Lee Daniels

The legendary Billie Holiday, one of the greatest jazz musicians of all time, spent much of her career being adored by fans across the globe. Beginning in the 1940s in New York City, the federal government targeted Holiday in a growing effort to escalate and racialize the war on drugs, ultimately aiming to stop her from singing her controversial and heart-wrenching ballad, “Strange Fruit.” Led by Oscar nominated director Lee Daniels and introducing Grammy nominated singer-songwriter Andra Day, THE UNITED STATES VS. BILLIE HOLIDAY unapologetically presents the icon’s complicated, irrepressible life. Screenplay Writer Suzan-Lori Parks, the first African American woman to win a Pulitzer Prize for Drama, pens this intimate tale of a fierce trailblazer whose defiance through music helped usher in the civil rights movement. NAACP Image Award nominee Trevante Rhodes and Emmy nominee Natasha Lyonne co-star along with Garrett Hedlund, Miss Lawrence, Rob Morgan, Da’Vine Joy Randolph, Evan Ross, Tyler James Williams, Tone Bell and Erik LaRay Harvey.


AMMONITE
2020, Neon, 120 min, UK/Australia/USA, Dir: Francis Lee

In the 1840s, self-taught palaeontologist Mary Anning (Kate Winslet) works alone on the wild Southern English coastline of Lyme Regis. The days of her famed discoveries behind her, she now hunts for common fossils to sell to rich tourists to support herself and her ailing mother (Gemma Jones). When one such tourist, Roderick Murchison (James McArdle), arrives in Lyme, he entrusts Mary with the care of his young wife Charlotte (Saoirse Ronan), who is recuperating from a personal tragedy. Too poor to turn him down but proud and dedicated to her work, Mary clashes with her unwanted guest - they are two women from utterly different worlds. Yet Mary and Charlotte eventually discover they can each offer what the other has been searching for: the realization that they are not alone. It is the beginning of a passionate and all-consuming love affair that will defy all social bounds and alter the course of both lives irrevocably.


RADIOACTIVE
2019, Amazon Studios, 109 min, UK/France/USA/China/Hungary, Dir: Marjane Satrapi

From the 1870s through to modern day, RADIOACTIVE is a journey through Marie Curie’s (Rosamund Pike) enduring legacies – her passionate partnerships, scientific breakthroughs and the consequences that follow. In late 19th-century Paris, Marie met fellow scientist Pierre Curie (Sam Riley). The pair went on to marry, raised two daughters and changed the face of science forever by their discovery of radioactivity. In 1903, the pair jointly won the Nobel Prize in physics for their discovery, making Marie the first woman to win the esteemed prize. After the death of her beloved Pierre, Marie’s commitment to science remained unwavering and her work went on to win her a second Nobel Prize, taking with it the responsibility for discoveries which changed the world. This is a bold, visionary depiction of an extraordinary life, the transformative effects and ensuing fallout of the Curies’ work and an exploration of how this impacted the defining moments of the 20th Century.


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