The story of Karen Silkwood, a metallurgy worker at a plutonium processing plant who was purposefully contaminated, psychologically tortured and possibly murdered to prevent her from exposing blatant worker safety violations at the plant.
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Robert De Niro,
Fairly accurate recounting of the story of Karen Silkwood, the Oklahoma nuclear-plant worker who blew the whistle on dangerous practices at the Kerr-McGee plant and who died under circumstances which are still under debate. Written by
Susan C. Mitchell <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The lives of working class Americans are shamefully under-represented by Hollywood, and when a poor person is depicted (as something other than a criminal), it's almost always with the subtext of hope and the American dream. But hope isn't what drives someone, like the real-life Karen Silkwood, to risk her life working with plutonium for the only employer in a company town. Silkwood didn't find hope, but she did get scared, and angry, and put her job (and those of her colleagues) at stake to uncover dangerous practices before dying a mysterious death. 'Silkwood' the movie doesn't give us the glib conclusions of a conspiracy thriller (it refrains from giving an opinion on her cause of death), but it does give an excellent portrait of life at the bottom, and the mounting sense of claustrophobia and paranoia that accompanied Karen's perilous voyage of discovery. Meryl Streep does an excellent job in the title role, portraying a woman gradually losing her sanity, and the whole cast is good, even Cher in an unglamorous role. In conclusion, this is a serious and important film; and a reminder for the fortunate how hard, and ugly, life can be, even in the "land of the free".
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