Born In Flames. 1983. USA. Directed by Lizzie Borden. With Adele Bertei, Honey, Jean Satterfield, Flo Kennedy, Hilary Hurst, Kathryn Bigelow, Becky Johnston, Eric Bogosian. Music by Red Krayola. 90 min.
In a near-future New York City, a diverse group of women organize a feminist uprising, following a “Social Democratic War of Liberation.” In a 1983 BUST interview with Betsy Sussler, director Lizzie Borden explained, “What I wanted to do in the film was present some IMAGES of something that was different—not a blueprint for revolution. I got a letter recently from a classical leftist in which he wrote a list of all the things that were wrong with the film such as ‘…we’ve all been through this before. As a man I’m not threatened by this because we know that this doesn’t work. This is infantile politics, these women are being macho like men used to be macho….’ He was taking the film too literally, as if I were saying this is what SHOULD happen…. I’m not presenting a picture of what could or should happen, but posing the question of what it would be like if a group of women started demanding equal representation; what IF women decided they had to pick up arms to make their demands known; what IF women started to work together across race and class lines; what IF.” Preserved by Anthology Film Archives with restoration funding from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and the Film Foundation.