Ray of Life

Kate Sheffield, Writer 

Sloan Grant(s) Received: 2020, Alfred P. Sloan Fellow, Athena Film Festival 

Project Type: Feature 

Genre: Drama, Biopic 

Length: 116 pages 

Field of Science: Biology, Chemistry 

Stage: Development 


Rachel Carson grows up with a deep love of nature on a small farm in rural Pennsylvania. After college, she struggles for years to support her impoverished family through work as a biologist, while writing on the side. When her love of nature finally brings her literary success, she also finds love with a married woman. While hiding this unspeakable truth in postwar America, she is increasingly alarmed by the effects of the era’s new chemicals. Rachel takes on the military industrial complex by writing an incendiary book that alerts the world to its poisons. Silent Spring is published in 1962 and revolutionizes how humanity views its relationship to nature, thus seeding the modern Environmental Movement. But as Rachel fights this public battle to save lives, few know of the private one she must endure to save her own.