3rd Moon: Form gangs! (012)

The new cycle of the 12 Moons series ties into the collective creative DIY practices of the filmmakers of LÄSBISCH TV (2nd Moon). Two films are on display: the lesbian feminist classic Born In Flames by Lizzie Borden (USA, 1983 and the trans*queer anarcha musical Folkbildningsterror (Popular Education Terror) by Lasse Långström and Göteborgs Förenade Musikalaktivister (Sweden, 2014).

Rooted in the time of their origin, both films offer a (queer-)feminist and anti-capitalist analysis of gender relations, state repression and the effects these structures have on the lives of women, lesbians, non-binary, inter* and trans* people. Feminist collectives form the protagonists of the films. As the action develops, they employ various strategies of discursive, activist and political resistance. The films position themselves against individualized struggle and place trust in the revolutionary power of collectives.

Film descriptions:

Born In Flames by Lizzie  Borden
USA, 1983, 80 minutes, English with German subtitles

Born in Flames takes places ten years after a fictive socialist revolution in the USA. The equal rights that had been promised to women* remain just that: an empty promise. As they still find themselves confronted with discrimination at the workplace and sexism in their everyday lives, women of different backgrounds and identities begin to organize in groups. Carried by a pulsing soundtrack, different feminist positions take the stage within the loose narrative of this faux documentary: two independent radio stations, a group of middle-class white feminists working for the pro-government newspaper, different organizations who organize strikes, and the “Women’s Army” that is the most radical wing of the movement. The radio stations give voice to working class Black feminists and report openly on the ongoing grievances in society. The journalists on the other hand are afraid that the lack of solidarity among women* will cause the revolution to collapse. Only after the Black lesbian leader of the “Women’s Army” is murdered, the scattered feminist groups find a way to come together in unison.

Folkbildningsterror by Göteborgs Förenade Musikalaktivister
Sweden, 2014, 120 minutes, Swedish with English subtitles

Swedish filmmakers Göteborgs Förenade Musikalaktivister created Folkbildningsterror, a musical committed to
radical-queer militancy. The film presents a challenge to ticket inspections and gay marriage, employment agencies, and the captivity of animals, to the pathologizing and discrimination of trans* people and to state violence. The neoliberal Swedish state makes Theo’s mother sick. Beaten down by the ghost of over-economization, Theo meets the trans* woman Kleopatra and a rabbit ready for violence. An evergrowing group joins the three protagonists who end up in a plenary debate about whether they should consider EU-funding of their resistance. They define themselves as queer feminist, anti-capitalist and left-wing autonomous. They make self-mocking comments about their political scene, take hormones without prescriptions, ban toxic masculinities from their anarchist spaces, believe in black magic, live out their sexual fantasies and are accountable to one another. And then: “Glitter and Guns!”. Drawing on self-taught songs and choreography and with the help of a Danish terror cell, they go into armed battle singing and dancing. Their songs are instruments of resistance – they deal out criticism and map out redeeming utopias.

CONTENT WARNING: The film Folkbildningsterror contains depictions of violence.