She is also being monitored by the F.B.I., as they read the mobilization of women as terrorist activity. Soft spoken, but strong, Adelaide is not shouting from the rooftops about inequality. Instead, she educates, informs and persuades women to unite, which becomes a threat as the F.B.I. sees that she is extremely effective. After a trip to Africa in which she delivers firearms to a women’s movement there, she is arrested and dies suspiciously in custody. Her death is the unifying factor in this fight for women’s equality, and she becomes a martyr for the movement. She is also the personification of what is still an issue today. How is a black woman, gay or straight, seen in today’s world?
Jean Satterfield as Adelaide Norris
Many black women have found a place in cyberspace, and I’d like to think that it is the new democratic society. There will be trolls and naysayers, but as our numbers grow, just as the Woman’s Army grew, we will have a voice. Adelaide stood for a future that may seem unattainable in this reality while her take charge attitude was policed; her outspoken approach strangled, but in Borden’s dystopian world, she became an icon of resistance, solidarity and hope.
This film started with a concept, an idea that grew through the collective work of the actors and director. What I admire is that through a mostly improvised script, she documented the voices of women who were actually in the experience, actually living as lesbians, feminists, and radicals. It allowed for the actors to workshop their responses in this alternate universe, to verbalize and enact the fantasy of a feminist mobilization and uprising. While it is true that through the editing process, the film is ultimately Borden’s vision, she uses the words that come from real women, and their thoughts on an alternate reality and its outcome.