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Plutonium Blonde

A fractured narrative on a female worker at a plutonium terminal

Animation & Artists Moving Image 1986 16 mins


Plutonium Blonde is a beautifully textured collage of sound and images and a fractured narrative about woman’s self-definition and control. Taking the figure of Thelma, a woman working with the plutonium monitors at the core of a reactor, Lahire questions both the process at the core of the plutonium terminal and that one that constructs female identity. Plutonium Blonde is part of a trilogy of films on radiation (the other two are Uranium Hex and Serpent River) that Lahire made in the 1980s.

Founded in 1966, the London Film-Makers’ Co-operative started life at Better Books, a counter-culture bookshop on Charing Cross Road, where a group led by poet Bob Cobbing and filmmakers Stephen Dwoskin and Jeff Keen met to screen films. Initially inspired by the activities of the New American Cinema Group in New York, the London Co-op grew into a pioneering organisation that incorporated a film workshop, cinema space and distribution office. During its four-decade history, the Co-op played a crucial role in establishing film as an art form in the UK and participated in a vibrant international film scene. This BFI Player collection brings together new scans of films distributed by and/or produced at the London Co-op.