Movie review for Born in Flames by Lizzie Borden

Born in Flames by Lizzie Borden


This movie cast a spotlight on problems of women’s right, discrimination against black women and lesbians. Women in this movie are at disadvantage and treated unequally. One woman working among guys gets less paid than her male co-workers. One woman nearly gets raped by two guys on the street. One women was arrested at the airport and dies in jail for unknown reason. However, women in this movie never give up. They are very aggressive. They hold protest demonstrations, attack TV station and broadcast their assertion, and threaten people with a gun. Attacking TV station and threatening people are too much. Using violence is not a good idea to solve a problem in real world (maybe in a movie is okay) because violence brings hate, hate brings only hate. The point here is, however, not their violent movement. It is that the reason why today’s women have more equal rights than 30 years ago (about the time when this movie was made) is because there were people who took an action for their equality just like those women in this movie.

This movie tells us roughly two things besides problems of women’s right, racism, sexism. One is that we should remember that there were many people who tried to change the world, tried to protect our rights and future, even by sacrificing their lives. Thus, we should never take our rights for granted. The other thing is that we have the power to change the world too. The effort of people in the past made our rights today. Because they worked up the courage to take an action, women’s rights today is much more equal to men than before (even though it is not exactly equal). If you don’t say anything, do nothing, and then people would think you support current situation. You must say or do something if you are not satisfied with the situation even if you feel your voice is too weak to change the world. It may take long until you can see the change. A journey of a thousand miles, however, begins with a single step as Chinese proverb says.

This movie is, however, a little too long and maybe too direct to people who are not interested in problems of women’s right, especially black women’s and lesbians’. To be honest, I wouldn’t have watched this movie if I was not required to watch. Yet, I’m glad that I watched it. How can we make people interested in something they are not interested in? How should we tell a problem which majority of people think is a too difficult topic? These questions are also from my personal experience. Japanese government recently made a new law which makes Japan available to support US’s war. I am against this new law because I don’t want Japan to be a country which justifies wars, and supports to kill innocent people who did nothing to Japan. I joined the protestant demonstration several times in Japan before coming to Seattle. I uploaded photos of the demonstration, shared the article about the new law, the demonstration, and other people’s opinions on Facebook. However, OBVIOUSLY I got too less likes on those posts than my other posts. I usually get around 20 likes on my each posting, and if it’s a photo album, around 70~200 likes in total. But when I post something about this political issue, I get almost 0 like. Only a couple of likes sometimes. Interestingly, half of the only few likes is of non-Japanese friends even though it’s the issue happening in Japan. (FYI, I have 337 friends on Facebook including 152 Japanese) Also, only a couple of my Facebook friends post something about this issue. Thus, through Facebook I can’t know what my friends’ opinions of this issue are, if they agree or disagree, if they are interested in or not, if they are afraid of showing their opinion, or if they have some other reasons. I don’t want to force them to express their opinion but I want them to think of this issue seriously. Thus, I started to think of these two questions: How can we make people interested in something they are not interested in? How should we tell a problem which majority of people think is a too difficult topic?

I’d like to think of and study various ways to attract people, make them interested in a specific topic which is difficult to many people to think of, or many people don’t really care about, but is a serious problem. To attract people, as far as I can see, your message or work should be catchy and impressive. Also, it should be something people can have empathy with. Even though I’m a woman, for example, it’s difficult for me to understand black and lesbian women’s feelings. I’m more empathetic towards cats than towards black women because I lived with cats since I was born and I love cats. Thus, it will be a good idea to use something popular such as famous anime characters, animals, or celebrities to tell people an unfamiliar topic to them.



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