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Directed by Lizzie Borden

United States 1983 80 mins. In English

Borden’s landmark, low-budget revolutionary treatise addresses a semi-documentary, semi-fictional parallel world to ours, where competing feminist groups wander the streets and control the radio waves, and where the “Social Democratic” administration in power is powerless to stop the tide of progress stemming from racial and gender injustice. Focused on the different paths resistance to power can take, Borden’s vision unspools through inventive set-pieces intercut with monologues from two radical radio DJs (Adele Bertei and Honey) who rousingly hold forth on a variety of issues facing the world community. An instant hit upon its premiere at the 1983 Berlin Film Festival, Born in Flames has since influenced countless feminists.

New 35mm print; preserved by Anthology Film Archives with restoration funding from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and The Film Foundation.

An 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.  — Melissa Anderson, The Village Voice

Genres: Sci-Fi, Comedy

Appears in: Print the Legend

The Northwest Film Center recognizes and honors the Indigenous peoples of this region on whose ancestral lands the museum now stands. These include the Willamette Tumwater, Clackamas, Kathlemet, Molalla, Multnomah and Watlala Chinook Peoples and the Tualatin Kalapuya who today are part of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, and many other Native communities who made their homes along the Columbia River. We also want to recognize that Portland today is a community of many diverse Native peoples who continue to live and work here. We respectfully acknowledge and honor all Indigenous communities—past, present, future—and are grateful for their ongoing and vibrant presence.