Saturday, November 27, 2010


Karen Silkwood worked in a nuclear facility where she helped produce plutonium rods, which were extremely toxic. People from the plant began getting sick and showing signs of radiation, and the plant had a lack of safety regulations. Karen Silkwood ended up with high levels of radiation as well. The plant tried to cover up their responsibility in the workers getting sick. Karen joined a labor union. The plant relocated Karen to a place where the photomicrographs of the fuel rods were reviewed and often changed. Karen went to a conference in D.C. where she promised to steal some of the photomicrographs that were altered. She also documented other things about the plant in a notebook to submit to the labor union and people she met in D.C. The plant tried to accuse her of stealing plutonium.  The movie did a great job of showing how the company manipulated multiple situations to make it look like Karen was at fault. In fact, they even convince some of the workers that she is the one getting everyone sick. The movie also pushed boundaries by showing one of the first lesbian relationships in film. Silkwood showed Karen Silkwood’s story well and invoked questions like: How did this company get away with having so few safety regulations for that long? How could the workers manipulating the slides and the plant overseers let so many people get sick? Why did Karen have to do secret work for the union; why couldn’t the officials in D.C. just order an investigation based on the number of sick workers and an eye witness?

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