I first heard of Safe a good 12 months ago and was instantly intrigued by the film, a story about a woman who becomes sick for no medically detectable reason. Upon seeing the movie, we discover one possibility for her disorder: she is "allergic to the 20th century." Twentieth Century Disease (also known as Multiple Chemical Sensitivity) is a very frightening, very real disability with no cure. The disorder is brought about by some 60,000 chemicals present in our environment, many of which have devastating effects on MCS sufferers, even present in tiny amounts.
Safe tells the tale of Carol White (Julianne Moore), an otherwise healthy, high-society homemaker who gradually comes down with a number of inexplicable symptoms. It begins with headaches and a rash, and soon spirals until she develops dizziness, nausea, and has a seizure. And things continue to get worse. All the while, none of her doctors can explain a thing. Eventually, Carol discovers the reality of MCS and heads for the Wrenwood Colony, a "safe" zone which is free of pollutants. Here, she begins her inward search to find the true reason for her illness.
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