Born in Flames (1983)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

Meant to take place in the near future, this film looks at the rights of women under a socialist society in the U.S. -- and finds nothing has changed. Accompanied by a strong musical soundtrack, the composition of women's groups is explored -- from the most conservative to the most revolutionary. And given the events in the film, it would appear that only revolution is going to work in the future if women really want to achieve equality with men in terms of power, recognition, and influence.
Comedy , Drama , Science Fiction & Fantasy , Gay & Lesbian
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Written By:
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as Honey
Jeanne Satterfield
as Adelaide Norris
Flo Kennedy
as Zella Wylie
Pat Murphy
as Editor
Hillary Hurst
as Leader of Women's Army
Sheila McLaughlin
as Other Leader
Hillary Hunt
as Army Woman
Lynn Jones
as Other Leader
Marty Pottenger
as Other Leader
Ron Vawter
as FBI Agent
John Rudolph
as TV Newscaster
Warner Schreiner
as TV Newscaster
Valerie Smaldone
as TV Newscaster
Adele Bertei
as Isabel
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Critic Reviews for Born in Flames

All Critics (12) | Top Critics (6)

Borden's exhilarating collage-like story stages news reports, documentary sequences, and surveillance footage alongside tough action scenes and musical numbers; her violent vision is both ideologically complex and chilling.

Full Review… | February 15, 2016
New Yorker
Top Critic

Lizzie Borden's 16mm independent production, which took some two years to complete, appears to have all the advantages and the disadvantages of a home movie.

Full Review… | December 9, 2008
Top Critic

Borden charts the explosive coming together of the women as they forge their own liberation, handling her story with audacity and making even the driest argument crackle with humour, while the more poignant moments burn with a fierce white heat.

Full Review… | June 23, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Born in Flames, while inventive, is also much too diffuse and overcrowded.

May 20, 2003
New York Times
Top Critic

Interesting as a historical curio but nearly unwatchable as entertainment.

Full Review… | May 30, 2001
AV Club
Top Critic

Made piecemeal over a number of years and first released in 1983, this 90-minute comic fantasy has lost little of its radical edge.

Full Review… | December 31, 1999
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Born in Flames

Not a great film, but has some great ideas and moments. Honestly it's mostly just edited poorly, this could easily be recut and come out more coherent. That theme song is hillaaaaaarious though.

Jenna Ipcar
Jenna Ipcar

set in a future nyc, tho it sure looks like the 80s, the film posits a post-revolutionary socialist society that isn't the great success the government claims. the poor and minorities have seen little change in their situations and feminists, tired of waiting for their turn, get organized. this is the most radical feminist film i've ever seen, with women's groups plotting full-blown terrorist activities, and in fact i'm still a bit blown away that this thing even exists, but i'm so glad it does. it's inspiring to know we once dreamed this big. this is a great example of ultra low budget guerilla filmmaking, admittedly rough but with some really good acting, effective satire and a whole lot of passion. and it's the tea party's worst nightmare

Stella Dallas
Stella Dallas

Super Reviewer


Has all the advantages and the disadvantages of a home movie. It is impertinent, audacious, abounding in fresh ideas, considerably untraditional ideas. On the other hand, it is disjointed, with no real characters, preachy, the script unsufficiently developed and the acting often amateurish.

Lee Mayo
Lee Mayo

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