Independent filmmaker, artist, and critic Lizzie Borden made her feature-film debut with this bold fusion of science fiction and feminist politics. In the near future, America is celebrating the tenth anniversary of a socialist revolution that has changed the political fabric of the nation, but some aspects of life have evolved much more than others. As some Americans become disenchanted with the new order, racism and sexism are on the rise, and though the new leaders may talk a good game about economic justice and equality in the workplace, women find they're still working harder and being paid less, and their jobs mysteriously vanish when they complain. Adelaide Norris (Jeanne Satterfield) is an educated African-American woman who is also a blue-collar laborer; fed up with the double standards that control her life, Norris helps form the Women's Army, a revolutionary feminist group that serves as a vigilante force to protect women on the street and a paramilitary unit to fight the powers that be. The Women's Army are successful enough in protecting women against rape and assault to gain the unwelcome attention of the FBI. The FBI succeeds in putting Norris behind bars, where she's killed in a shadowy incident, but New York City's female-run underground media rises up to make sure the people know the truth about her death. Eric Bogosian and Kathryn Bigelow each made their screen debuts in Born in Flames, with minor supporting roles - the former as a technician at a television studio, and the latter as an editor.
by Mark Deming synopsis