DVD review: ‘The Whistleblower’
In the realm of true-life stories about courageous women fighting a corrupt, oppressive system, “The Whistleblower” falls squarely in a league with “Silkwood” and “Erin Brockovich,” movies that struggled to juggle righteous moral outrage with their stories’ dramatic imperatives.
Based on the true experiences of Kathryn Bolkovac a veteran Lincoln, Neb., police officer who accepted a lucrative private-contactor job in 1999 to serve as a peacekeeper in post-war Bosnia, “The Whistleblower” relates a troubling story of police corruption and bureaucratic indifference that allegedly reached into some of the highest ranks of United Nations.
Directed by first timer Larysa Kondracki (who co-wrote the script with Eilis Kirwan), the film offers up an earnest and well-grounded condemnation of human sex trafficking, a heartbreaking human-rights atrocity that thrived in post-war Eastern Europe and by all accounts continues to be a worldwide scourge even today.
Bolkovac’s experience, related in grimly compelling if occasionally ponderous detail, aptly dramatizes the horrifying human toll this highly organized criminal enterprise exerts on victims and their families.
Bolkovac (played with unflinching determination by Oscar-winner Rachel Weisz) is a hardworking Nebraska police officer and divorced mother who accepts a high-paying, yearlong job as a contract peacekeeper as a way to finance a later move closer to her young daughter.
Arriving in gloomy, shattered Eastern Europe, she’s idealistic and determined to do right, even if her rag-tag band of fellow international policemen are far more cavalier in their duties. The conscientious Bolkovac quickly rises to head the U.N.’s Gender Office, assigned to investigate sexual assault, domestic abuse and sex trafficking.
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