Marjane Satrapi

United Kingdom, Hungary, 2019 / 103 min / English OV with French subt. / biopic, drama

Marjane Satrapi

An unconventional biopic on the physicist Marie Curie.

In the male-dominated society of late 19th century Paris, Marie is a fiercely passionate scientist, who struggles to progress her groundbreaking research, despite her obvious brilliance. After joining forces with fellow scientist and future husband, Pierre Curie, they take her exploration of radioactivity forward, discovering not one, but two new elements: radium and polonium. The genius of the Curie’s discoveries leads them to win a Nobel prize in physics, making Marie the first female Nobel laureate. The prize propels the devoted couple into the international limelight, but after a tragic accident Marie must continue to advance her work alone. Her unwavering commitment to science and her work resulted in further revolutionary discoveries with dramatic consequences for the modern world.

Radioactive is a bold, visionary and unconventional biopic based on Lauren Redniss’s graphic novel. Punctuated by fascinating animated sequences, the film showcases Marie Curie’s life, the transformative effects and ensuing fallout of the Curie’s work and how this impacted the defining moments of the 20th century.

“A timely reminder of this exceptional woman's achievements.” Deborah Young, The Hollywood Reporter, 06/10/2019

Tue 10/03 18:45 Ciné Utopia EN OV with FR subt. Public

“This would be an interesting but fairly conventional biography if it were not for Satrapi’s unique approach, which draws to some extent from graphic novel conventions. A combination of animation and well-timed flash-forwards serves to either explain, illustrate, or provide commentary on events in the Curies’ lives.” Monica Reid, Far Out Magazine, 20/10/2019

“Marie Curie gets her overdue biopic in a century-spanning drama illuminated by Marjane Satrapi's creative quirks […] Satrapi has a terrific flair for the macabre. Once Marie and Pierre’s meet-cute is checked-off and the triumphant couple has thumbed their noses at the establishment, Satrapi and screenwriter Jack Thorne […] are free to experiment with more daring narrative risks. […] As Radioactive grapples with the repercussions of inventing a dangerously unstable nucleus that can both cure cancer and cause it, Satrapi collapses a century of innovation and destruction from the discovery of chemotherapy to Chernobyl into a flat timeline that Curie can see right through as though looking at an x-ray, even walking through a Russian hospital in 1986 to kiss a dying firefighter on the forehead. In those moments of stylistic imagination, the film glows.” Amy Nicholson, Variety, 06/09/2019

“Rosamund Pike is a dazzling Marie Curie in […] Marjane Satrapi's portrait of the renowned chemist and physicist […] Satrapi dares to make science look sexy. […] [Her] willingness to experiment captures the radiant spirit of the daring subject at its center. […] Anyone unfamiliar with the Curie family legacy will certainly find much to appreciate about their various accomplishments under incredible personal duress and tremendous social upheaval.” Eric Kohn, 06/09/2019

Cast & Credits
Rosamund Pike, Sam Riley, Anna Taylor-Joy, Aneurin Barnard, Simon Russell Beale
Jack Thorne, based on the graphic novel “Radioactive: Marie & Pierre Curie – A Tale of Love and Fallout” by Lauren Redniss
Anthony Dod Mantle
Steve Fanagan
Michael Carlin
Evgueni Galperine, Sacha Galperine
Working Title Films, Pioneer Stilking Films, Shoebox Films
The Festival Agency

Marjane Satrapi is a French graphic novelist, filmmaker, screenwriter and human rights campaigner born in 1969 in Rasht, Iran. At the age of 14, her parents send her to a French school in Vienna to escape the Iranian regime and persecution. She briefly returned to Iran to study visual communication, before moving back to France to study at the École supérieure des arts décoratifs in Strasbourg. In 2007, she collaborated with Vincent Paronnaud to direct the screen adaptation of her autobiographical graphic novel, Persepolis, as a black and white animated film. Persepolis received the Jury Award in Cannes and was met with international success, culminating in winning two Césars in 2008 and being nominated for an Oscar as Best Animated Feature. Next, she directed another adaptation of one of her graphic novels, Chicken with Plums (2011), and then went on to shoot The Gang of the Jotas (2012), a comedy centring on the wacky conversion of a couple of professional sports players into contract killers. In 2015, Marjane Satrapi released The Voices, horror-comedy starring Ryan Reynolds, Gemma Arterton, and Anna Kendrick. Radioactive (2019) is her fifth feature.

  • 2019 – Radioactive
  • 2014 – The Voices
  • 2012 – La Bande des Jotas
  • 2011 – Poulet aux prunes
  • 2007 – Persepolis