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BORN IN FLAMES (dir. Lizzie Borden, 1983), 80 minutes

WHEN: Tuesday 5 February 2008, 6pm

WHERE: 53 Washington Square South, Room 428

All Welcome. Refreshments provided.

“The right to violence is like the right to pee: you’ve gotta have the right

place and the right time.” One of the headiest, most fiercely out-there

independent films of the 1980s, BORN IN FLAMES is an unclassifiable mash-up

of science fiction, post-No Wave docudrama and exercise in radical

dialectics. Set ten years after the Social Democratic War of Liberation, it

depicts a tumbledown, self-proclaimedly Socialist New York in which

competing groups of women, when they’re not pedaling across the city on

their bicycles in order to attack macho idiots and discontented hard-hats

hitting on their sisters, fight for a braver, more combatively feminist new


BORN IN FLAMES is a seething, combustible and strangely joyous time capsule

of a film, populated by black separatists, vigilante groups and brusque FBI

agents, that was inspired in part by the Italian free-radio movement of the

1970s and 1980. It features a range of downtown luminaries – Adele Bertei

(The Contortions, The Bloods), Kathryn Bigelow and, in his first screen

appearance, Eric Bogosian – and is accompanied by a terrific soundtrack of

post punk, art rock and hip hop. A feminist classic, a piercing critique of

the media structures that pervert and betray social reality, as well as a

bulletin from the frontline of a still-raging set of ideological conflicts,

its scene of the World Trade Center being bombed alone makes it an absolute

must see.

The screening will be introduced by Asad Raza, writer and PhD candidate in

the English department at NYU.