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Born in Flames

Lizzie Borden

The movie that rocked the foundations of the early Indie film world, this provocative, thrilling and still-relevant classic is a comic fantasy of female rebellion set in America ten years after the Second American Revolution. When Adelaide Norris, the black radical founder of the Woman’s Army, is mysteriously killed, a diverse coalition of women – across all lines of race, class, and sexual preference – emerges to blow the System apart.

Set ten years after the most peaceful revolution in United States history, a revolution in which a socialist government gains power, this films presents a dystopia in which the issues of many progressive groups – minorities, liberals, gay rights organizations, feminists – are ostensibly dealt with by the government, and yet there are still problems with jobs, with gender issues, with governmental preference and violence. In New York City, in this future time, a group of women decide to organize and mobilize, to take the revolution farther than any man – and many women – ever imagined in their lifetimes.

In 1983, the film won the Reader Jury prize at the Berlin International Film Festival and the Grand Prix at the Créteil International Women’s Film Festival.

“Lizzie Borden’s 1983 film has a concept, style, and politics that are still radical and relevant. Railing against the patriarchal and racist structures that remained in even the most progressive corners of American Society after the ’60s and ’70s, we are thrust into a feature length narrative of critique… Managing to tow the line between preaching and pandering is not an easy task when taking on the very fiber of our society, and rarely has a film done it with such ease.” – Cine-File

“Like her namesake, the filmmaker Lizzie Borden took an ax…to cinema conventions and tidy political resolutions in her 1983 landmark Born in Flames. This unruly, unclassifiable film — perhaps the sole entry in the hybrid genre of radical-lesbian-feminist sci-fi vérité — premiered two years into the Reagan regime, but its fury proves as bracing today as it was back when this country began its inexorable shift to the right.” – Village Voice

“Under the Regan dominated 1980s American landscape comes the crown jewel of cult feminist classic Born in Flames, a dystopian sci-fi that puts lesbians as the purveyors of a successful socialist revolution. Lizzie Borden creates one of the most empowering feminist calls to arms in a narrative feature that challenges sexual harassment and embraces the micro-budget filmmaking aesthetic.” – Rooney Elmi, Mubi

“”Beautifully made, courageously edited, and swift-moving, this challenging, provocative film is a work that is both humanist and revolutionary.” – Marjorie Baumgarten, Austin Chronicle

“an early ’80s landmark of indie and queer cinema” – Greg Baise, Metro Times


  • 1/23 | 8:00PM
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