In a future where a socialist government gains power, a group of women decides to organize and rebel.
In a future where a socialist government gains power, a group of women decides to organize and rebel.
You could just scroll a feminist call to revolutionary action across a blank screen with no soundtrack at all, and I think I'd give it 5 stars. It gets me pumped. It makes me happy to know someone made a film about this. It makes me feel not so alone and powerless to see so much effort put into something like this. But on top of being a fierce, powerful message, it's also well thought out. It's illustrative. It's interesting.
Since this isn't merely a textual call to action, but an actual film, I actually love it more. I am gushing over this. This is gushing. It illustrates class struggle, feminist struggles, and racial struggles through familiar lenses, but also…
Democratic socialism will not save us.
Inspired by Marxist writings on women's issues (Borden is not specific about which ones), this film posits a democratic socialist United States and explores the idea of an incomplete revolution. It's interesting to note that director Lizzie Borden identifies as an anarcha-feminist; aspects of the film feel critical of the state to some extent, but other aspects reflect a Marxist Leninist understanding of the need for fighting chauvinism. A critique of social democracy as being unfit to address sexism, racism, and homophobia makes sense; any political approach which insufficiently addresses imperialism is doomed to uphold all of those and more. In the film, it never addresses this aspect of social democracy, instead taking an…
An angry, funny, aggressively rhetorical and didactic metadoc, Peter Watkins-style, about an illusion of socialist utopianism deployed as a pacifying distraction of the patriarchy! A totally tantalizing idea I'd never given much attention to, but here we see multiple splinter collectives of variously disenfranchised ethnic, gender, and social groups battling in the hearts, streets, and especially screens of a fictional future society that's still subject to white, male, corporate-controlled media and power structures. Conflicting "progressive" agendas (from grassroots "Take Back the Night"-style protest to outright terrorism) struggle for dominance. Truly a seminal piece of revolutionary art. See this awesome movie.
Not since Deep Space Nine has a film (I feel DS9 is a film) dreamt of a better future and then relentlessly critiqued that future. It’s exhausting and invigorating. We’re never done.
Insane to me that this was filmed guerrilla style inside Reagan’s America. The people on the street who aren’t acting don’t even know they’re in a better world.
Raw, punky and cartoonish. The rough edges make it a more satisfying whole as it feels like a righteous cry more than a polished polemic.
Yes, it mixes up some of its important terminology and is reductive in places, but it also understands some key things. This film understands how issues not only intersect but hit others much harder, and how progress for some comes at the cost of oppression for others.
It also covers how the language of the left will be co-opted and used to oppress, and to continue unequal systems - just with different words. Actual struggle, an actual rising up of those who are beaten down, is the only path forwards. We can’t have calm, mollifying…
This is the sixth entry into a NYC movie marathon my boyfriend and I are curating to memorialize our forsaken annual trip to the hometown of our hearts.
Born in Flames is a probing, feminist piece of guerrilla filmmaking that depicts an alternate America under social democracy and the female revolution that erupts from the myriad and pervading forms of continued oppression women experience under this gaslighting and deleterious government.
The grassroots Women’s Army, led by community organizer Adelaide Norris and her lieutenant Hillary Hurst (and comprised largely of Black and lesbian women), work initially to ensure local social services for women, stage labor strikes and equality demonstrations, and operate a vigilante neighborhood watch and response team to thwart the…
Almost 40 years on, Born in Flames remains one of the most radical and audacious offerings of American independent cinema, so much so that it truly needs to be seen to be believed.
this pulls off the dreamiest balance of infuriating and hopeful. I wish more filmmaking assumed the world was different than it was - even if it not necessarily a better world. the rage is palpable; the conversations are prescient. I do not want to reduce women to outfits, but there are some great ones here. between this and Contact, it's like, should I buy a radio??
when the marxism isn't intersectional <<<<
when u take up arms until it is >>>>
Dystopian fiction works best when the world described is at least somewhat recognizable as a logical ending place from where we are now. What BORN IN FLAMES does so well is just goes ahead and makes "where we are now" the dystopia with only minimal embellishments to re-contextualize the footage of police violence, sexual harassment, and social unrest. Formally this isn't that different than say Peter Watkins' PUNISHMENT PARK or a Ken Loach movie (LAND AND FREEDOM, especially) with the multiple scenes of people sitting around debating revolutionary strategy, but oh man is the content fiery and righteous. Killer soundtrack to boot.
“All oppressed people have a right to violence.”
It’s wild to think about the fact that the term intersectionality wasn’t officially coined until 1989 by Kimberlé Crenshaw. Crenshaw’s work in examining the crucial need to name and then move toward intersectionality was huge as shown in how so much of Lizzie Borden’s central tensions, when it came to her dialogue sequences between women involved in the movement was grounded in that concept of intersectionality, six years before there was a proper name for the concept. Relevant in its radicalism within its original release year and relevant now, in the fourth wave of feminism where the movement has grown all the more radical, and, when conveyed properly, unified in intersectionality. Unbelievable…
"It's time to work some voodoo on these motherfuckers, sisters."
It came as no surprise to learn that feminist filmmaker Lizzie Borden (a name she adopted in honor of the notoriously parricidal murder suspect of the 1890s) was inspired by the example of Jean-Luc Godard; for there's enough of La Chinoise and Weekend packed into Borden's iconic Born in Flames to radicalize an affluent soccer mom on her way to a PTA meeting.
The scenario occurs in the near future approximately a decade after a socialist takeover of the U.S. Since then social conditions have deteriorated continually leading to rife underemployment and high rates of violence against women (this could have been set in Trump's America I guess). Borden's screenplay…
such an interesting watch I’ll say that. this movie has a lot to say abt DSA, yt feminism and anarchism, and martyrdom. I def need to rewatch
mesmerizing. a prophet. white pundits paternalizing abt the impossibility of abolition, a black underground funneling aid, a supposedly "good" govt still killing its own, explosions at the world trade. love the way the sound between different scenes and conversations bleeds over. auditory dialectic, the aural version of the final broadcast abt "socialism as a constant struggle" between voices all looking to move forward, like the films own divergent feminist groups coming together to embrace the liberatory potential of terrorism
Intimate style, like a documentary of underground queer America.
Almost forgetting that it takes place in a dystopian future, there is a lot of relevant dialogue and ideologies explored without pretentiousness. It’s crazy to think this was made in 1983.
fiery and revolutionary. this film talks about class and government heavily, but what separates it from other films is its clear, distinct female perspective - with a focus on black women, poor women, and queer women. it centers on various women's rebellion groups and how they participate in their attempts at dismantling the patriarchy for all women, and dismantling a corrupt government cloaking itself in progressive ideas for all people. a burst of style, energy, and anger as a woman's call to action.
I really like this sort of punk, underground, no-wave movie. It reminds me a lot of one of my favorite movies, Near Dark, and now I want to check out other stuff like it.
Felt as relevant now as it likely did when it came out in 1983.
Lizzie Borden made the documentary-style Born in Flames, which was banned for a time in the UK, over the course of five years with $40,000 and a group of diverse women, many of whom were first time actors—including an acting performance from Academy-Award winning director Kathryn Bigelow, and Flo Kennedy (Zella Wylie)—a lawyer and activist who represented clients such as the Black Panthers, and the estates of Billie Holiday and Charlie Parker, who improvised many of her lines. Borden believed in sharing creative control and vision with her performers, putting collaboration ahead of adhering strictly to the original script.
As a result, Born In Flames feels like…
This is not really my kind of movie, which is entirely a me-thing and not a Lizzie Borden-thing. But it's pretty great for the kind of movie that it is.
Frankly, Borden won my heart with her montage that juxtaposes footage of a woman working in a butcher department wrapping chicken legs in plastic with footage of a woman rolling a condom onto an erect penis. Magical.
"Ca va bien aller," indeed.
This film feels like one giant montage. A story of an underground feminist group called the Women's Army is building steam to confront a false egalitarian society with who it has left behind. It feels like the viewer is a student watching the only surviving footage from the beginnings of a revolution. It's like if students today could watch video footage of the Nat Turner rebellion. However, this isn't a class and this revolution happened in a world very distant from our own. I'm just someone sitting on their couch watching a movie at noon.
The goal for me when going into art is either 1) to be entertained, 2) to experience empathy, or 3) both. This movie accomplished #3.…
Uma ficção científica política que nao se cria em uma distopia futurista ou necessitada de pistolinha a laser para mostrar os seus pontos... Brilhante
Acho que é de um análise muito boa, é de qualquer forma uma obra que lida com a realidade "invetada" de forma espetacular
A rote piece of theoretical comminution; a display of filmmaking formally self terminating; a sectarian moral melodrama pitiless to its characters in its writing, pacing, and framing (and fucking musically too, christ). Born in Flames gropes tragedy, smears itself with the muck of mutilation bespoke in the (supposedly) live dissection of modernism statically vegetated under scalpels of ten different artistic, philosophic, and palindromic movements beyond, contradictory, and revivified with the uncontrollable weight pressed down on the gunwale of the 20th century. It insists that war paint is any colour of any wet wicked about the face and shins of a 'warrior' or 'caterwauler' screaming the right call against the right enemy - a bourgeois, stubbornly infantile and long recuperated, mechanism…
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