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US, 1983
Directed by Lizzie Borden
With Honey, Adele Bertei, Jean Satterfield, Florynce Kennedy, Kathryn Bigelow, Sheila McLaughlin, Eric Bogosian, Becky Johnston, Pat Murphy, Hillary Hurst, Marty Pottenger, Ron Vawter, John Coplans, Bill Tatum
Approx. 80 min. 35mm print courtesy of Anthology Film Archives.

In a New York of the future, ten years after a successful socialist revolution, the oppression of women still lives on. Black Lesbian construction worker Adelaide Norris, radio broadcaster Honey, and a gang of bike-riding dyke vigilantes team up to fight the social unrest rocking the streets. Agitprop with a sense of humor, a non-stop musical score, non-professional actors, improvisation, and a mixed media assemblage of newspapers, TV reports, radio, and surveillance footage, BORN IN FLAMES is a landmark of early 1980s American independent cinema made over the course of 5 years for only $40,000. A Film Forum premiere in 1983.


“An invaluable document of cruddy Koch-era New York... BORN IN FLAMES boldly takes on the blind spots that plagued New Left ideologies — namely, sexism, classism, and racism, obtuse attitudes that still dog today's 'progressive' movements.”
– Melissa Anderson, The Village Voice

“Applying the visual cues of experimental and documentary filmmaking, this explosive work offers a speculative, feminist polemic set in a potential future that mirrors both the present in which it was made and ours [now]...Imagin[es] potential futures as a way of speaking to an evolving present; BORN IN FLAMES is carried by a utopian current, channeled through the intransigent demand to make an inventive leap into reforming the world.”
– Yasmina Price, Vulture

“BORN IN FLAMES continued resonance and growing popularity suggests... that we need radical approaches to image-and-sound making more than ever.”
Sight and Sound

“The anarchic spirit of agitprop pulses from this scrappy, smart, subversive film.”
– Peter Bradsaw, The Guardian

Film Forum