Silkwood Movie Review

Published: 2022-12-15
Silkwood Movie Review
Type of paper:  Movie review
Categories:  History Human resources Research Personality
Pages: 6
Wordcount: 1392 words
12 min read

Silkwood is a movie that describes problems that corrupt and greedy corporations bring to employees and the public at large. It raises critical issues related to corporate profit and worker safety. It brings to light a situation where there is an urgent need for organized labour representation, eradication of moral depths that corporations go to earn a profit. By highlighting challenges employees and people staying around industries experience, the film correlates the historical theme of gender inequality with the plight of women in contemporary societies.

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Silkwood film targets consumers and employees, particularly women who work in harsh and unfriendly conditions. In the modern world, business morals and ethics has assisted corporations in understanding their roles and how to treat employees and other stakeholders. However, in the past, businesses exploited employees through greed and caused environmental destruction that affected almost all the stakeholders. Therefore, by describing challenges experienced by past employees and stakeholders, the film informs employees and consumers about their rights and necessary actions they should undertake to avoid being exploited by greedy and corrupt business entities.

Silkwood film was made appealing by the narration of the real life experience of how the poor lady (Karen Silkwood) risked her life working with plutonium. The film has troubling scenes that raise the signal and raise questions regarding the world where people live in because it describes a true story and nothing makes people aware as bad personal they often experience. Although Silkwood did not find hope while working with the company, she was not scared but put her job at stake to unravel dangerous practices that most modern employees still experience in their working conditions. Regarding the special effect, the script and atmosphere were realistically designed that made the film to be initially regarded as horrific narration, but later it strikes the audience and made them conclude that events that happened were real and that Silkwood was indeed tortured, infested and assassinated. It also made them conclude that all these atrocities did not occur in another world but their presence. Secondly, the cast signifies sympathy for individuals who are trying to succeed in life despite the challenges they are experiencing.

The unsafe working conditions and violations of employees' rights especially women compelled the filmmaker to produce a film that would inform other workers and public about such atrocities. As discussed in the film, Silkwood discovered unsafe working conditions at the corporation and was exposed to harmful substances especially plutonium 1. She begins to conduct the violation of safety conditions at the factor together with the possible exposure and begins to collect evidence regarding the chemical, oil, and atomic workers' union. She does this despite knowing well that she was putting her life and job at risk 1. The unsafe working conditions, violating the rights of the employees, and the unnecessary assassination of workers who expose the wrongdoings of factories and organizations forced the filmmaker to bring these atrocities to the limelight so that necessary actions can be taken.

Indisputably, Silkwood movie has numerous positive and negative aspects. The significant negative point is that it fails to provide the audience with a brief conclusion regarding the conspiracy thriller. The film according to fails to provide an accurate view of what caused the death of Silkwood. Nonetheless, its positive aspect is that it offers an outstanding depiction of life at the bottom, as well as, the mounting sense of paranoia and claustrophobia that accompanied a dangerous journey of discovery that Karen took. Further, the author also did a fantastic job in the title role, depicting women progressively losing her sanity and the entire cast of the film is also outstanding.

Silkwood has some biases that hinder its effectiveness from conveying the intended message to the audience. By now, every audience clearly understands that Karen Silkwood died in a mysterious car accident. She died while taking some critical documents to a New York Times reporter. Surprisingly, the materials were never recovered. This is the highest level of baseness by the author because the audiences are not informed on what caused the accident or the suspects. This bias makes the film unbeneficial to any person who wants more information about the nuclear industry. The end of the movie is intentionally fogged. The scenes fade gracefully out as Silkwood views clear headlights through her rear mirror and fades in following her fatal crash. Here, the audiences are encouraged to believe that bad guys have assassinated her. However, in the earlier scenes, the film showed her in an innocent car mishap, reminding the audiences about the dangers involved in driving. Ultimately, the director and the author has left themselves out emphasizing on the objectivity but riskily diluting their drama.

Oppression and violation of the rights of women are the key historical themes studied in class that can be identified with the film. Historically, women have undergone a series of battles, struggles and tests to ensure that they actively participate in the labour force. For years, most women were expected to stay at home and care for their family, and the few who got a chance to work in industries and other organizations were mistreated, exposed to unsafe conditions and poorly paid 4. Similar to these historical themes learned in class, the movie explains how women are abused and exploited in corporations. Silkwood is neither scared nor silenced by the corporation or its lawyers. She continues to fight for what she believes is right regardless of the risk involved. Another essential them studied in class but can be identified in the film is the unfair treatment of employees especially women. As reviewed in class, women in the film experience are punishing work, loud noise, low pay, authoritarian management, and job insecurity 4. In particular, in the film, Karen Silkwood is unfairly treated when the doctors carried out the procedure to eradicate contamination. Indeed, it was a traumatizing, humiliating and painful procedure to be scoured with brushes. As matters of fact, this technique is unethical because safeguarding the rights of employees should be the leading priority of every organization. By highlighting the plight of women workers, Silkwood film brings to light the historical themes and injustices that women across the globe continue to grapple with in their workplaces.

By succinctly describing poor working conditions, mistreatments, assassinations, and violations of the rights of women without any manner, the film is communicating the sense of historical time and place. The movie articulates how women working for corporations were subjected to unsafe conditions, scared and silenced not to bring such mistreatments to the limelight. Significant changes have been witnessed mainly in the manner in which women are treated in the workplace. Although gender equality is still an issue in most corporations, a good number of women workers are adequately paid, subjected to favourable working conditions and their rights respected. Therefore, by highlighting issues that are currently minimal in the 21st century, the movie takes me back to the old days when corporations devalued women and mistreatment them.

For the overall entertainment value, the film has tried to describe a real-life story but lacks verifiable shape. The audiences are drawn to the life experiences of Karen Silkwood by the outright accuracy and unexpected harmony of its Middle American details but towards the end, abandoned by a movie whose images hardly describe what happened. In essence, speculation and fiction deny the artistry that occurred in the past. Therefore, it lacks the entertainment value that audiences would expect from a film of that nature.

In conclusion, Silkwood movie improves the awareness of the employees and the public regarding the greed, exploitation and environmental damage by firms and other business entities. Currently, corporate responsibility continues to grow as buyers continue to compel corporations to transform. When workers take moral and ethical position while fighting for their plight, they have an upper hand of defeating the wealthy and powerful industry. Indeed, individual influence can prevail.


Latson, Jennifer. "The Nuclear-Safety Activist Whose Mysterious Death Inspired a Movie." Time. Last modified November 13, 2014.

Staff, People. "Picks and Pans Review: Silkwood." Last modified December 12, 1983.

Sterritt, David. "'Silkwood': Good Intentions Are Fogged in by Ambiguity." The Christian Science Monitor. Last modified January 5, 1984.

Zocalo Public Square. "Women and the Myth of the American West." Time. Last modified January 11, 2015.

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