The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

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‘North Country’ an inspiration to viewers

Josey Aimes, played by Charlize Theron, stands up for herself and her friends. She is not afraid to tell the truth.

“North Country,” directed by Niki Caro, is an exceptional portrayal of one woman’s courage to fight for the right of every woman in an American workplace.

 

Theron plays the super mom role of a young woman who experienced rape, physical abuse, and shame as a worker in a mine.

In the film, Aimes prevails and supports her two children while holding a well paying job and living her American dream. In reality, she faces, as her father in the film Richard Jenkins says “The un-speakables.”

Aimes and her female co-workers are made to feel unwelcome. They are considered to be simple toys of pleasure for the men, not as equally agile and intelligent co-workers.

The harassment began with subtle flirts that upgraded to crude sexual jokes, which led to drawings, and finally rose ro blatant physical abuse.

Against this, the women were tricked into believing that they were represented in the union but they were not.

In this company, machismo was “rulo numero uno,” as Josey’s supervisor clearly stated on her first day of work.

“North Country” also touches the flaws and beauty of the American family structure and pride, whether it is with a family of both parents or Josey as a single mom.

Aimes’ father goes through an amazing transformation from a stubborn proud man to a caring and supportive father and husband.

In Josey’s own family, she has a growing teenage son filled with resentment for never knowing his father and a daughter filled with an undeniable spirit of independence.

In the film “North Country,” one is exposed to the crude reality of sex and its consequences for teenage girls. In the same manner there is a great emphasis on the importance of human life.

Josey’s bravery is mostly depicted in the fact that she prefers to ruin her name rather than discard of the being that a rapist put in her.

One can also make out the differences between the great respect that the miners have for their wives and female family and the little amount of respect they have for the women working at the mine. The differences are immense and embarrassing.

In this film one also witnesses the destruction of female and male stereotypes during the case when a man is declared as having “left the ice yellow” in a case of an emergency, a very girly or weak thing to do.

On the other hand, one can say that Gloria, played by Frances McDormand, was as tough as a man. As she herself says in the film she was a “cowboy.”

“North Country” is a compelling, well made film. It is rich in content and something worth seeing more than once. Niki Caro’s film is thought and action provoking and worth the current price of a movie ticket.

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