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"Rotten to the Core": Exposing America’s Energy-Media Complex in The China Syndrome (1979)

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)93-113
Number of pages20
JournalCinema Journal
Publication statusPublished - 2013


This article conducts a case study of the 1979 thriller The China Syndrome
(James Bridges). It explores the motives of the film’s architects, notably Jane Fonda,
and examines the role that The China Syndrome played in framing both the Three Mile Island nuclear accident and the notion of an energy-media complex for the public in the United States and abroad.


Tony Shaw, '"Rotten to the Core": Exposing America's Energy-Media Complex in The China Syndrome', Cinema Journal, Vol. 52(2), Winter 2013, available online at Copyright © 2013 University of Texas Press

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