Born in Flames (1983)

In a world where a socialist revolution has taken over the United States, women, minorities and the LGBTQ community are still treated as second class citizens. The Women’s Army fights this with an escalating series of tactics to make their voice heard, opposed by the government, the police, and even women within the socialist party who are frightened by their “separatist” rhetoric and insist that things used to be much worse.

Good lord, is it depressing that this movie doesn’t feel any less relevant. It felt like it could have been made yesterday, the 1960s, the 70s, or somehow got sent back from the future. I didn’t remember to look at the year before I started it, and the only thing that sort of started to clue me in on the era was the kick ass angry girl music soundtrack that sounded very post-punk. Plus the idea of a pirate radio station leading the revolution shall never, and should never go out of style.

Oh my god, and there’s this character that’s supplying a lot of the political schooling to the rest of the cast, and it’s an older African-American former lawyer in a cowboy hat. I spent like half the movie going, ‘oh that’s cute, she’s supposed to be a tribute to Florence Kennedy, way to know your heroes, movie’ AND THEN THE CREDITS PLAYED, IT WAS ACTUALLY FLORENCE KENNEDY!!! Be still my bad ass lady crushing heart! Her parable in the movie about 500 mice being able to do more damage than one lion was fantastic.

Is it political rhetoric front and center? Sure. Were this a few years ago, I’d detract them for that. However, it’s not that time anymore. Additionally, I don’t feel that it’s unwatchable otherwise, but likely that’s because I think that the things it has to say about uniting different groups without listening to those different groups’ concerns, are things worth hearing.

This flick was on Kanopy. Lady Picture Show recommends it for the next time you hear a Bernie Bro moan about how identity politics lost the election, and it’s the economy, stupid.

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