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…
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.
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…
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.
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…
"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…
when the marxism isn't intersectional <<<<
when u take up arms until it is >>>>
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??
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.
“Born in Flames” feels like the feminist successor to “Rome, Open City.” It shares the same bravery and scrappy creativity of its Italian predecessor. Both films are post-war, but depict ravaging battles of spirit that are still to come.
Shot with a pocket-change budget of $40,000, director Lizzie Borden’s docu-fiction work is pieced together with a mix of non-professional actor-activists, fake news broadcasts, and found footage.
“Flames” has an unnecessarily high concept at its core. The film is set after a peaceful socialist ‘war’ of liberation, which has left white feminists in a position of comfortable privilege, and their racial minority sisters with only the ashes of broken promises. Led by a pirate radio station run by black women, the…
A no-wave time-bomb of fuck-you energy rocketed back to today from tomorrow. Watching this just a couple of weeks after seeing the pair of ACT UP documentaries, I can't help but see the parallels — like How to Survive a Plane and United in Anger, this is a film that’s about organizing and how multiple groups can share the same goals and basic ideologies, but have radically different ideas on how to achieve them. In the end, it takes everyone — the bougie socialist newspaper writers, the no-wave and reggae pirate radio stations, the construction workers, the dykes on bikes — to make real power plays for change.
I’ve seen people criticize this for not having a traditional narrative, but…
"The oppressed have a right to violence."
There are so many truths in this film worth celebrating, the few things it fails at are that much more frustrating.
The oppressed have a right to violence. The exploited have a right to rise up under capitalism. We have a duty to fight back and, as Assata Shakur said, to win. The truth of this burns through the rest of the film. It's in the political conversations; it's in the acts of repression. It's everywhere.
The film is posed as speculative fiction: what if the United States had a socialist revolution? This is how it is marketed, and the presentation within the film fails to explore this in the detail needed to…
Come on: Un film d'histoire alternative au style documentaire, à propos d'une révolution socialiste, dont l'action se passe dans le New York délabré du début des années 80 qui à de l'air à sentir les vidanges et avec en prime, une trame sonore post-punk?
Ça aurait pu être le film le plus plate au monde, et j'aurais aimé ça quand même...
From Ep. 1 “New York Independent - '60s, '70s, & '80s"
For better and for worse, this feels like a home movie. Despite being a lower quality production, it's pretty interesting and very creative with its format, the story is primarily told through news programs and other TV shows in that 80s style of obsession over TV.
For most of the movie, it has that kind of story where it feels timeless and could be placed in any era and then someone will start doing like a half slam poetry half rap and it suddenly feels stuck in the 80s again
Has a killer ending
Someone needs to make me that "Ganja Farmers Union" shirt IMMEDIATELY
if bernie had won
loved that the song born in flames played during every montage
Born in Flames is an incredibly prophetic film, and not just because it features the bombing of the World Trade Center decades before it actually occured.
The whole narrative surrounds the concept that we need to wake up and stop listening to the political and media figureheads that dominate the national conversation. The audience sees just how wrong these "reporters" and agents are by visually witnessing the good work that the Women's Army is trying to do.
This concept, which also similar to Spike Lee's in School Daze, predates the wave of revolution films made by Hollywood in the 1990s. Borden and Lee's beliefs are almost identical to the messages in Pump Up the Volume, Fight Club, Heathers, The Matrix…
VISIONARY SHIT, just as relevant now as it was forty years ago (maybe even more so)
is that where uhaul lesbians come from?
If you don’t like this movie you’re simply misogynistic - direct quote from mollie. HAPPY EASTER THIS IS MY PASSION OF THE CHRIST.
The first half was just incredible. I like the documentary style, and obviously the film is loaded with radical, pertinent themes. But, to be completely honest, the second half was a mess.
Once the narrative gets past the set-up and world building, the "plot" overtakes and leaves behind the honesty of the first half. The conclusion leaves us with basically nothing.
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