An exploration of the political and psychological contradictions of Valerie Solanas, the woman who in 1968 shot Andy Warhol. Solanas defined herself as a lesbian, though her orientation was motivated less by sexual desire than by living as a woman in a male-dominated society. The traditional biopic is interrupted with black-and-white sequences of Solanas looking straight into the camera and reciting passages from the Society for Cutting Up Men (SCUM) manifesto, which became a feminist classic.
Though Harron credits Taxi Driver, her movie is as much a variant of Scorsese's King of Comedy. Solanas is an ambitious but disregarded nobody. She exploits men's base animal desires and takes their money but still depends upon their power. The re-creations of the atmosphere of the Factory with its Warhol crowd are vivid. The direct motivation as to why Solanas shot Warhol remains unexplained. Harron: "It wasn't until the editing that I acknowledged I just don't know, and that I should leave it a mystery."