28th May + 2nd June
Born In Flames Lizzie Borden (US, 35mm, colour, 1983, 90mins)
This political sci-fi drama is set in a dystopian future New York, ten years after a peaceful revolution has recreated all men equal. All men – leaving the women to mouth their discontent. A theme song by the Red Krayola underscores the film as it examines the agendas of two different feminist groups who strategize, debate, take up arms, and form a Women’s Army.
Adele (Satterfield) is a member of the militant women’s army; Honey, the radical presenter for the pirate Phoenix radio; and Isabel (Bertei) performs nightly on Radio Ragazza. Borden charts the explosive coming together of the women as they forge their own liberation, handling her story with audacity and making even the driest argument crackle with humour, while the more poignant moments burn with a fierce white heat.
Borden alternates between various protagonists and political viewpoints, creating a film collage including faux newscasts and talk shows, fictionalized documentary footage, police-surveillance tapes and the officials’ commentary on them, protests and confrontations, organizational meetings and strategy sessions, behind-the-scenes looks at the broadcasters Isabel and Honey on the air, musical performance, and intimate glances at private life in a time of conflict.
A celluloid attack on patriarchal society, filmed over five years on a shoestring budget, Born in Flames is a towering example of an unabashedly feminist independent film.
Preserved by Anthology Film Archives with restoration funding from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and the Film Foundation.