This classic feature, based on a true story, centers on Josey Aimes, who takes a job at a local iron mine in Minnesota in 1975. She and other female miners endure unyielding harassment from male co-workers, ranging from verbal taunts to pornographic graffiti and physical abuse. Ignoring advice from family and friends, Josey files a groundbreaking lawsuit and wins a landmark decision that is still protecting women today. Directed by Niki Caro, North Country’s all-star cast includes Charlize Theron, Frances McDormand, Jeremy Renner, Woody Harrelson and Sissy Spacek.
The following is a note from director Niki Caro
I am honoured that the Athena Film Festival has chosen to screen ‘North Country’, a movie that was made 15 years ago, but is still horrifyingly relevant today.
If I may dedicate this screening from afar, I would like it to honor the voices that have spoken out in the #MeToo movement, particularly those of the actresses. The most vulnerable in this industry were the first to speak up, and I bow down to their fearlessness.
From Pai in ‘Whale Rider’, Josey Aimes in ‘North Country’, Antonina Zabinska in ‘The Zookeeper’s Wife’, and Anne Shirley in ‘Anne With an E’, I will continue to honour the fierce and the fearless with my work, but also also the gentle, the quiet, the vulnerable, and the feminine. And I look forward to the day when a female character doesn’t need to earn her place on screen by simply being “strong”, or “sympathetic”, or “likeable”, but can be as complex, and complicated, and flawed, and fascinating as we all are.
Brava to the Athena Film Festival for it’s vision, and for providing a platform to celebrate all that we are, on screen and off.
I wish I could join you. I hope you enjoy the film.
Niki Caro was born in 1967 in Wellington, New Zealand. She is a director and writer, known for Whale Rider (2002), North Country (2005), and McFarland, USA (2015).