Women are resilient in ways men are still trying to comprehend. We can cook, clean take care of a home, raise kids and work simultaneously. But, when you think about resilient women in that sense, the last person who would come to mind would be Madame Marie Curie. Madame Curie would become the first woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize…twice, as well as, the first to teach at University oof Paris. You may very well know all of these facts already. What don’t you know? These are the juicy details laid out in Marjane Satrapi’s Radioactive.
The strength of women is often taken for granted. This week, women on Capital Hill had to stand up and speak out for being disrespected and disregarding as viable members of society and as representatives of the American people by the very faction of men who claim to uphold justice. None of this is any different than the political bureaucracy amongst scientists in the 1800’s and now. Marie Curie once declared, “…I was taught that the way of progress was neither swift more easy,” clearly she was right.
Not only was she ridiculed professionally, but personally endured much distress as a result of adultery shortly after her husband Pierre passed on. An eventful misstep that could’ve easily derailed her career, yet she won to grab a second Nobel Peace Prize for her scientific work techniques in isolating radioactive isotopes and the discovery of elements polonium and radium. Proving to her two daughters (Irene and Eve) to never settle and never let negativity dictate your path in life personally or professionally.
Satrapi’s unique use of electronica 1920’s music against a beautifully shot Parisian backdrop makes this film absolutely gorgeous to watch. The poetic performance of Rosamund Pike of a woman who was rejected by the medical industry and her fellow scientists, while finding love with a man who respected and love her back is grounded and captivating. Pike taps into the tough exterior of Curie, while exuding the vulnerability exquisitely proving that her range is immeasurable.
Marie Curie would die of aplastic anaemia on July 4, 1934 compounded from years of exposure to radiation through her work. Even today, her laboratory notebook from 1899-1902 is radioactive and will be for 1,500 years. So, the next time you get an X-ray, MRI or watch a loved one go through chemotherapy, just know a strong willed woman from Poland – Marie Sklodowska Curie died so that you could live. Produced by Amazon Studios, Radioactive begins streaming on July 24th.