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Thursday, September 29, 2005

NORTH COUNTRY REKINDLES HARASSMENT DEBATE

While most of the chit-chat on the IMDB boards for Niki Caro's NORTH COUNTRY, shot on Minnesota's Iron Range and scheduled to be released nation-wide on October 21st, center on whether or not the Ranger accents are going to be "like Fargo" or worse DROP DEAD GORGEOUS, Warner Bros, Participant Productions and Oprah foresee a bigger debate.

As billing leading up to the show promises, tomorrow Charlize Theron will appear on Oprah's show to talk about the film and sexual harassment, With an obvious reference to her facial modifications her Oscar-winning MONSTER role, "Charlize Theron is putting on a brave face, for her new movie, North Country. Then, a story that will leave you stunned. What made these women targets of sexual harassment?"

Many are expecting that NORTH COUNTRY will revive a debate about sexual harassment in the workplace that hasn't been heard since Anita Hill appeared before the Senate Judiciary committee in the hearings of Clarence Thomas for Supreme Court Justice.

In Caro's film, based on the true life story of Eveleth miner Lois Jenson, Theron's character Josie sees Anita Hill giving testimony before the committee on television and is moved to actions she feels in response to her treatment. While Hill was successfully rebuffed by Senate Republicans and her witness diminished, Hill propelled women nation-wide and the class action suit in northern Minnesota that changed history to move forward.

In an attempt to counter the obvious hard hitting emotional edge the sexual harassment story presents, Oprah also interviews Theron about her new boyfriend, leading the star-hearthrob to comment on how much they enjoy "making out." Oprah then provides a graphic illustration via rear-view projection.

Caro's company Participate has set up a web site as a part of a campaign to stop sexual harassment and domestic violence:

http://www.participate.net/standup/

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