Podcast, Arts & Culture, Social Justice

Episode 184: Born in Flames — with Lizzie Borden

September 06, 2022
Subscribe via:     Soundcloud   Apple Podcasts   Spotify   Google Podcasts   Podyssey   Youtube

On this episode of Below the Radar, host Am Johal is joined by Lizzie Borden, an independent filmmaker who's been directing & creating since the 1970s.

Lizzie describes her unique creative journey, as a filmmaker who never went to film school and instead came into filmmaking after studying visual arts. She discusses her inspirations, which vary from gallery art, to second-wave feminism, to women in Marxism.

She also dives into her colourful filmography: Regrouping, her 1976 experimental documentary, Born in Flames, her 1983 documentary-style fiction film, and Working Girls, her 1986 drama film looking at the lives of sex workers.

Touching on both past and present, Lizzie speaks on her creative process, with intentional editing and aesthetics and the search for intersectionality in her work--even before "intersectionality" was a commonly-used term. She talks about independent filmmaking, and how trying out alternatives only solidified it as her practice of choice. She also looks at the conversations still being held today around her work, especially Born in Flames, with its socialist setting and political message still sparking conversation.

About Our Guest

Lizzie Borden

Award-winning feminist filmmaker Lizzie Borden is best known for the 1983 film Born in Flames. 

Borden's career as a feminist filmmaker began when she majored in art at Wellesley College in Massachusetts before moving to New York. Her early films take on hot topics in the feminist movement with visual representations of struggles for equality in race, class, gender, and sexuality. Her later films focus on women’s sexuality, and her attempts to move into more mainstream film in the 1990’s were challenged by studio politics. She continues to work in film today as a script doctor while developing her own projects.

Cite This Episode

Chicago Style

Johal, Am. “Born in Flames — with Lizzie Borden.” Below the Radar, SFU’s Vancity Office of Community Engagement. Podcast audio, September 6, 2022.


Stay Up to Date

Get the latest on upcoming events by subscribing to our newsletter below.