The movie, "North Country" directed by Niki Caro revolves around the story of a single mother, Josie Aimes (played by Charlize Theron) who has to raise her two kids on her own for she was beaten by her past husband and leaves him behind. The movie is taken place in Minnesota during the eighties, where women were still struggling with gender equality, especially in the workforce. Knowing Josie is now alone, she applies to the mining business where pay is pretty good but she and the other women are treated very poorly by the other male workers, or in general being sexually harassed. The movie is based off of the first major and successful sexual harassment case in the United States: The Jenson vs. Eveleth Mines court case; and the true story of Lori Jenson who took a job at the iron mine in 1975, where she and her women co-workers received harassment from the other men working at the mine. Lori Jenson eventually files a lawsuit in 1984, and has helped change the face of sexual harassment, and women in the workforce. Again, the movie revolves around fictional character, Josie, who has been through a very rough time. She was basically disowned by her father for he is ashamed she got pregnant at sixteen, and rumors are spread around that Josie is very sexually active with a lot of men, giving her a bad name. She is disrespected by a lot of individuals, her son for one even hates her and begins believing all the rumors. Now working in the mining business, things take a sharper turn for Josie. All the men at the mines do not respect the women at all, saying the women shouldn't even be working in a place like the mines and that they are taking men's jobs. The men play dirty tricks on the women, putting things in their lockers that are completely inappropriate, creating messes where the women have to clean it up, getting close and trying to touch the women in inappropriate places, and overall leaving the women feeling totally helpless. Josie tries to explain the harassment to the manager, but the manager is already on the male side and later finds out about the rumors of Josie giving him more reasons not to believe her. Josie gets at her last end and quits the job, for she couldn't take the harassment any longer. She scouts out a lawyer and the case commences to reach a sense of gender equality in the workforce and for the women working to not be harassed by other men. The movie overall depicts the inequality of women and men during this specific time period and the hardships women had to go through in workforces that were considered a "man's" job. It is a very emotional drama, and is likely best for young adults or teenagers with the language and the terrible, terrible events some of the women, especially Josie, had to face throughout their life.
North Country was a very powerful movie with many emotional turns. It left me turning my face away to not see what's coming next because it was so hard to bear the harassment that occurred. It was a strong drama that seemed like events would never turn up good at the end where it was heading in the story. Though the movie itself makes you keep watching just hoping one sprout of goodness will happen for the strong-willed female lead. I was beginning to be impatient with the movie, hoping that "happy ending" would come soon and it became a bit too much with one bad predicament after the other. I did enjoy the characters, they each had a certain appeal to them and made you want to know more about them, as well as hope something good will come out for them. I did admire the heroine, Josie, for she did what she could to raise her kids on her own and to bring justice to the awful harassment that was endured on herself and the women in the mines. Part of me didn't really enjoy many of the men's roles for they all were the same inappropriate, childish, men and treated women very, very poorly, and there were only two or three that were alright towards them. I don't really believe men were that over the top of being prejudice to women at the time, but I do understand the message trying to be sent throughout the movie. The movie did overall produce a well-made story, giving brief context of this historical event, although it really is a very depressing motion picture.
I recommend this movie to anyone who is interested in knowing more about gender rights in the past, for it discusses the stereotypes of women and the idea of them in the workforce. If you like sad, emotional, and overall depressing movies then this one is for you. It just seemed nothing good was going to happen, again, one bad thing after the other. It seemed to drag on a bit so if you also enjoy watching longer movies it is also good for you. It just overall puts you in an emotional whirl and you really feel for each character along the way, hoping the case will be won by Josie. I would rate this movie 2.5 out of 5, for I did enjoy it but it was a little too depressing for my taste.