Big strides have been made with an aim of making women overcome the great social and cultural barriers that have consistently limited their economic and social development. North Country, a film released in 2005 and directed by Niki Caro greatly exposes these weaknesses. North County delves deep to express the theme of sexual harassment, employment opportunity, and the position of women in the society. Overly, this movie showcases an important and essential topic in the society.
Josey Aimes, who is the main character in the movie, depicts the underprivileged position of women in the society. Josey returns home after walking out from a hostile relationship with her boyfriend. Contrary to her expectations, she does not find solace at home. Instead her dad, Hank, sides with her boyfriend whom he argues beat her since she was promiscuous. Josey’s mother Alice is sympathetic but her hands are tied by the social constraints which all women in North County must adhere to. Noteworthy, the movie is able to illustrate the position of women in expressing their grievances. In this case, Hank shows the manner in which women are always unfairly judged in the society. Further, this theme is illustrated when it is proved that Josey did not conceive Sammy when she was a teenager because she was promiscuous, rather, she was raped by her teacher. Markedly, the teacher who abused her was the same person who should have been her defender. Similarly, Josey expected her dad to defend her and not to be critical of her decision to separate with her estranged boyfriend.
North County also illustrates the manner in which fear and tolerance propagate mistreatment of women. To explain, the movie casts Bobby, who acts as a supervisor to Josey in the mine as an individual who is confused on whether to defend women or to criticize them. In order to appear popular, he criticizes Josey and even alleges that she is promiscuous and has even attempted to seduce him. Notably, Bobby and Josey had been suspended the same day that Josey was raped by her teacher. Moreover, he witnessed the whole situation. Nonetheless, he did not report this issue to the necessary authority. Evidently, he knows that Josey did not conceive Sammy because she was promiscuous. Further, his unfair actions are simply done to tarnish her name. In effect, North County is able to illustrate that some of the problems that women face are due to fear and tolerance to crime by individuals who refuse to report law breakers.
Similarly, this theme is emphasized when Josey confronts the mine owner to make the necessary policies that will ensure women are fairly treated in the company. However, Don Pearson, the owner of the mine is tolerant to this behavior and he decides to give her a resignation offer instead. Worse still, when Josey approaches fellow women who work at the mine to jointly file a laws suit against it, most of them fear to lose their jobs and they back off. In light of this, the movie clearly illustrates how fear is used as an effective weapon in compelling women to accept unfair treatment from law breakers.
Further, the movie shows how mistreatment of women can negatively affect their families. For example, the movie shows how unfounded rumors on Josey’s promiscuity lead to break up of her family. However, when she successfully files a case against the company and employees begin to openly share their views on the sexual abuse of women, most of them are against it. Importantly most of them decide to join her in the case. Effectively, this leads to the mine paying female employees for the damages they have suffered.
To sum up, this film effectively illustrates the manner in which social and cultural issues are used to compromise the position of women in the society. In addition, the fears of lack of social acceptance and loss of work are depicted in the way they are used to compel individuals to accept mistreating women as a norm. In light of this, the director did a great job in scripting a film that illustrates the social issues that affect women and how they can be overcome.
North County. Dir. Niki Caro. Perf. Charlize Theron, Frances McDormand, Sean Bean, Richard Jenkins, Michelle Monaghan, Jeremy Renner, Woddy Harrelson, and Sissy Spacek. Warner Bros, 2005. Film.