Friday, August 12, 2011


The Whistleblower

The Whistleblower As if a war itself is not ugly enough, some peace keepers from the so-called "international community" such as UN often commit crimes and engage in corruption during the lawless post-war era. It is like rubbing salt into the bleeding wounds. Sadly, it happens almost in every past and present war. Based on a true event, Canadian writer/director Larysa Kondracki's feature directorial debut "The Whistleblower" (Germany/Canada 2010 | 112 min.) tells a police officer's courageous battle to uncover a horrific human trafficking crime in Bosnia about two decades ago.

Kathryn Bolkovac (Rachel Weisz) is a divorced police officer from Nebraska who wants to be transferred to Atlanta to be with her daughter. When the transfer fails, she takes on an opportunity and joins a US firm contracted by the UN as a peace keeper in war-torn Bosnia in 1999. Soon after being on the job, she discovers wide spread human trafficking of young women who are held in inhuman conditions in various brothels. Further investigation reveals more disturbing truth—those US peace keepers and the local police force are actively involved with these sex-trafficking operations. Her effort to save these girls and to seek justice is a devastating uphill battle that hits brick walls for each step she moves. Not discouraged by the dire situation, she risks her own safety and continues the fight.

Rachel Weisz as Kathy in THE WHISTLEBLOWER

This gripping film effectively explores the dreary but important subject matter. It literally depicts the helpless and despairing situation faced by these sex-trafficking victims, as well as by officer Kathryn Bolkovac. It seems nothing one can do to shake the giant UN bureaucrat and to bring these diplomatic-immunity-protected criminals to justice. Humanity appears to be disappearing in the ruin of war, and the only thing matters is the money flowing into these UN peace keep contractors.

Academy award winner Rachel Weisz's extraordinary performance vividly transforms the brave protagonist to the big screen. She creates a convincing and rich character, despite many other characters are underdeveloped. She should be the reason for you to go see this film even you feel the story is too heavy.

What if we change Bosnia to Iraq, or Afghanistan? Let's not think about it now, because this movie is depressing enough.

"The Whistleblower" a Samuel Goldwyn Films release, opens on Friday, August 12, 2011 at Bay Area theaters.

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