new-york

Born In Flames

The Film Forum

Born in Flames is a feminist film which examines the cultural place of women from a sociopolitical rather than overtly psychoanalytical perspective. The action takes place in New York of the future, ten years after a socialist revolution. Although promises of women’s social equality have been made, they have not been realized. The mise-en-scène does not present a futuristic world of sci-fi fantasy (an implausible fiction), but one which is all too bleakly like the present—a lack of difference which is not wholly successful, since we must constantly be told, rather than be shown, that it is future time. Such a nonutopian vision of the future could have undermined one’s sense of optimism about humanity’s potential for change, but this is countered through the film’s sassy vitality, which remains faithful to the (Utopian) notion that social reform lies in the collective consciousness of women.

Sign-in to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for artforum.com? Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and get the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the PRINT EDITION of the February 1984 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.