Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Born in Flames
The story involves several different women coming from different perspectives and attempts to show several examples of how sexism plays out, and how it can be dealt with through direct action. A famous scene is one during which two men are attacking a woman on the street and dozens of women on bicycles with whistles come to chase the men away and comfort the woman. The women in the movie have different ideas about what can and should be done, but all know that it is up to them, because the government will not take care of it. The movie shows women organizing in meetings, doing radio shows, creating art, wheatpasting, etc. The film portrays a world rife with violence against women, high female unemployment, and government oppression. The women in the film start to get together to make a bigger impact, by means that some would call terrorism.
This movie seems to be an attempt at creating a picture of what radical feminist resistance could look like, what it takes to get to that point, and how it can happen. It also seems to make the point that an authoritarian government, no matter how socialist, will not lead to true freedom (thus is something of an anarchist or anti-authoritarian movie). It may be a response to socialist feminists' lack of critique of the state. It certainly paints a clear picture of the limits of a government to make preserve freedom, no matter how much they try (or pretend to try) to force fairness. If the political goals of the movie/characters are not anti-statist, it is unclear what they are.
Some call this movie "futuristic", but it seems the intended portrayal was that of 10 years after a fictional socialist revolution that took place in the early 1970s. The social climate represented in the movie is very much like the U.S. today (or in the 1980s), despite the fact that the American system of government is one of the least socialist in the West. Born in Flames argues that the media helps portray a happy false picture to appease the masses, but there's enough injustice that people will not stay quiet.
Though seen as a radical feminist film, the movie is not necessarily anti-male, tending to portray most men neutrally; although some depictions are negative, the film's supporters would argue they are no more so than those of women as typically portrayed in Hollywood films.
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