Symbiopsychotaxicinema: BORN IN FLAMES 1983

Thursday, 17 November

Symbiopsychotaxicinema: BORN IN FLAMES 1983

Short url:

Directed by Lizzie Borden
90 minutes
In English
and with English subtitles

This is a dystopian science-fiction feature film with a strong documentary feel, about a radical women's rebellion that explodes in a recently created democratic socialist America. Such a premise clearly puts this flick in the anarchist camp, and director Lizzie Borden goes full throttle following various groups of revolutionary feminists fighting back against state control. The film takes the position that any elected government is fundamentally wrong because the only real change will only come from the people at the bottom, not from the top. I tend to agree, that is the only real form of democracy.

This uncompromising cult film is totally low-budget, and is as chaotic as it is furious. In some ways it even feels like a collage film, made of bits and pieces of action sequences, television reports, group discussions and radio announcements. It largely focuses on several female-run pirate radio stations—Radio Ragazza and Phoenix Radio—which personally reminds me of 1980s Amsterdam. I lived in a squat where everyone worked on an illegal pirate radio station... there were literally hundreds of them throughout our fair city at the time, and thousands throughout Holland. And just like in this movie, these pirate radio stations created a grassroots network of communication where ideas and culture were explored. They were totally independent from corporations, business, censorship and mass surveillance—and it's that last point (surveillance) which is why there can be no such thing as 'free pirate' radio online.

This flick is about activism and solidarity, touching on themes of class, race, sexual identity and gender. It also shows how building such a movement is no easy task, it is created through a lot of hard work... arguments and different opinions that have to be debated and worked out. Strangely enough one of the minor characters is played by Kathryn Bigelow, who would later go on to direct big budget Hollywood movies like Zero Dark Thirty. It's got a rap and punk vibe, and in fact it's so punk it even has a song by the Brit all-female band The Slits, along with Red Crayola who contribute the title song. Made on a zero budget, but what it lacks in money it makes up with spirit ten fold.

Date & Time: 

Thursday, 17 November, 2022 - 20:30


  • film


  • free
Plantage Doklaan 8

Weekly programme of film screenings in a circuit of underground / self-organised venues. Forgotten movies that should have been classics, neglected flics, lesser-known gems, always with a personal introduction by the programmer. All films in English, or with English subtitles.


  • film

opening times: 

mostly Sunday to Thursday at about 7 different underground locations.