spacetime coordinate: 1987 suburban California
Safe — sometimes written as [safe] or [SAFE] — is a 1995 British/American drama film written and directed by Todd Haynes, and starring Julianne Moore. The story is a character study of a suburban California housewife whose life deteriorates under the stress of “environmental illnesses” and seeks hope from “New Age” practitioners with whom she becomes involved. Safe was voted the best film of the 1990s in the 1999 Village Voice Film Poll.
Set in an affluent neighbourhood of the San Fernando Valley in 1987, the film recounts the life of a seemingly unremarkable homemaker, Carol White who develops multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS, also known as “Twentieth-Century Disease”). MCS is a medically controversial diagnosis in which a person develops mild to severe non-specific symptoms and believes that these symptoms are triggered by chemicals found in everyday household and industrial products.