The plot of the film revolves around protagonist Josey Ames and her life after leaving her abusive husband. She finds that her past experiences actively prevent her into fitting in with other people in her native Minnesota town. The men of the town, especially Bobby Sharp, sexually harass Josey and her female co-workers; when the women refuse to give into thei sexual demands, the male workers begin to spread rumors about them around town. Although Josey attempts to bring this to the attention of the board of directors of her mining company, they refuse to listen to her and join in by verbally abusing her.
Eventually, members of the town begin sticking up for Josey and the other female mine workers. When the case was brought to court, the mine lawyers attempted to fight against Josey’s claim due to her “promiscuity”. However, the court revealed that much of her past that was deemed improper was a result of a rape; this is what led to her teenage pregnancy. Upon hearing this, the other women miners back her up. Eventually, they win the case and the mine company is forced to enact a sexual harassment policy.
The film “North Country” is an adaptation of a real class action lawsuit entitled Jenson v. Eveleth Taconite Company. Unfortunately, sexual harassment is a common problem that many women face in the workplace today. This film shows us that although many businesses are dominated by men who seem to hold all power in their hands, women have the ability to stand together and fight against unjust treatment. Although the take home message of the film is to be strong and stand up for what you believe in, we are also reminded that it is not always easy to fight against people in power. Women are continuously discriminated against in the workplace. While it seems that there is nothing that can be done, we have nothing to lose by trying and should; even if we don’t succeed in our lifetime, we can potentially make this situation better for future generations.
Garcia, M. 2013. North Country. Film Journal. Retrieved September 4, 2013 (http://www.filmjournal.com/filmjournal/esearch/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1001390732).