RUNNING TIME131 minutes

Released in 1983, this fictionalized film details the life and death of Karen Silkwood, the whistleblower from the Kerr-McGee nuclear plant in Crescent, Oklahoma. Played by Meryl Streep, Silkwood was a star high school student who became a worker processing plutonium in the nuclear plant. The film follows the events in Silkwood’s life, from her estranged relationship with her three children to her contamination with radioactive particles. The director, Mike Nichols, explores the abundant theories surrounding Silkwood’s contamination and her death by car accident in 1974. The film characterizes Silkwood as a champion for workers in her capacity as a union leader at the plant, yet also as someone unsure of herself in that role. Nichols does a good job of painting a fair and objective portrait of Silkwood, especially at a time when the questions raised in the trial following her death elicited slanderous reports by Kerr-McGee and the U.S. government. The film was nominated for five Academy Awards, including best actress (Meryl Streep) and best supporting actress (Cher).

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