Radium Girls
Film
Film On Demand

Radium Girls

December 16

This event occurred as part of the 20/21 Hop Film season. This is an archived view.

Two teen sisters expose a massive cover-up at American Radium in this empowering historical drama about corporate greed, science and activism.

20/21 Hop Film

It's the roaring twenties, and radium is all the rage thanks to Marie Curie's Nobel Prize-winning discovery in 1910. Since the substance is marketed as a cure-all, Bessie and Jo Cavallo have no concerns as they spend their days painting luminous watch dials at the American Radium factory, daydreaming of Hollywood and Egyptian pyramids. Jo is literally glowing with pride after being named employee of the month ― that is, until she loses a tooth and her health starts mysteriously failing. 

Outraged when the doctors falsely diagnose Jo with syphilis, Bessie starts investigating whether radium is really as beneficial to everyone as American Radium claims and who among the company's top brass might be trying to cover up the truth. This riveting courtroom drama reveals a little-known part of feminist history and a case which made a lasting impact in the area of workplace safety and the study of radioactivity. D: Lydia Dean Pilcher & Ginny Mohler, US, 2020, 1h42m

This film is programmed as part of our "Because Science" series, which explores how science, technology, engineering and medicine impact people's everyday lives.

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