Chris Kennedy

“Born in Flames.” July 26, 2016

Born in Flames
dir. Lizzie Borden | USA 1983 | 85 min. |  16mm to 35mm 35mm Preservation Print!

Presented here in a lovely 35mm preservation print from the Anthology Film Archives, Lizzie Borden’s radical feminist masterpiece is as incendiary (and relevant) now as it was at the dawn of the Reaganite ’80s. Made over five years for a mere $40,000, Born in Flames centres on two female-run pirate radio stations that are fomenting rebellion against a patriarchal Socialist Democratic government that has not lived up to its promises. Galvanized by the suspicious death of an incarcerated activist, a grassroots “Women’s Army” agitates for direct action, their progressive move into militancy covered by the radio stations and a trio of female reporters working for a state-run newspaper. Borden employs these multiple ideological viewpoints on the narrative action to present a kaleidoscopic range of feminist viewpoints (black, white, lesbian, straight), modelling an intersectionality that was rare in those dying days of second-wave feminism. Raising the middle finger to the white male-dominated avant-garde canon, Borden’s ferocious underground classic is a cannon all its own, propelled along by a relentless post-punk energy that starts with the pumping theme song by The Red Crayola and Lora Logic and featuring performances by Adel Bertei and a young Kathryn Bigelow.

Preserved by Anthology Film Archives with restoration funding by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and the Film Foundation.

Lizzie Borden in person.

Tuesday, July 26 8:45pm