Silkwood is a 1983 American directed by Mike Nichols. The screenplay was inspired by the true-life story of Karen Silkwood, who died in a suspicious car accident while investigating alleged wrongdoing at the Plutonium plant where she worked.
Karen Silkwood (Meryl Streep) is a worker at the Fuel Fabrication Site was an American labor union activist and chemical technician .Because the plant has fallen behind on a major contract, employees are required to work long hours of overtime and managers are falsifying safety reports and cutting corners wherever possible, risking the welfare of the personnel. Karen approaches the union with her concerns and becomes active in lobbying for safeguards. She travels to Washington,D.C. where she interacts with union officials who appear to be more interested in the publicity she is generating than her welfare and that of her co-workers.
When Karen and other workers become contaminated by radiation, plant officials try to blame her for the incident. When she discovers that negatives of photographs of faulty fuel rods have been retouched and records of inadequate safety measures have been altered, Karen decides to conduct an investigation of her own.
Once she feels she has gathered all the proof of wrongdoing necessary, Karen contacts a reporter from the New York Times and arranges a nighttime meeting. In the film’s final moments, the scene fades out as Karen, on her way to the meeting, sees approaching headlights in her rear-view mirror which draw up so close that they blind her and make her unable to watch the road ahead, then fades in on the aftermath of her fatal car crash, and the viewer is left to decide whether the crash was truly an accident or deliberately caused.