Thursday, 24 May 2012

The Whistleblower.

Girls working the Streets of Bosnia. 

You can never do enough to raise peoples awareness of the despicable traffic in women and girls when they are transported from one place to another for the sole purpose of sex and making money for ‘pimps’ and ‘gangsters’ on the back of the misery generated by this evil trade.

Larysa Kondracki is a Canadian film director and screenwriter her debut feature film tackles this subject once again. Canada/German coproduction The Whistleblower (2010), similar to Sex Traffic (2004), bases its narrative on a true story. An American police officer Kathryn Bolkovac (Rachel Weisz) takes a job working as a peacemaker in post-war Bosnia. Although she expects to be involved in the rebuilding of this war torn country her good intentions are dashed when she uncovers ‘a dangerous reality of corruption, cover-up and intrigue amid a world of private contractors and multinational diplomatic doubletalk’[1]

Rachel Weisz with Kathryn Bolkovac.

It was this realization and her need to confront the truth that put Bolkovac in a precarious position. “For me it was really shocking,” Bolkovac, explains, “because I felt that my motives were genuine and I was here to help. I wasn’t here to hunt down police bad guys…when I began investigating the internal corruption involvement of our own police forces and our own internationals in the sick world of trafficking, I didn’t expect the backlash that I got.” As she dug deeper and deeper, the situation became untenable and because she was a threat to the face of the rebuilding project in Bosnia, the powers that be found an excuse to fire her. Bolkovac, being the person she is, filed a wrongful dismissal case against her employers and finally cleared her name in 2001.[2]

Rachel Weisz as Bolkovac.

Tagged as the movie the United Nations would prefer you didn’t see because of accusations that the U.N. top brass, the US State Department and again similar to Sex Traffic, a corrupt major US contractor who is contracted to supply American police for U.N. missions are all heavily implicated. Indecently the same company is still raking in US dollars in Iraq and Afghanistan under contract to the State Department. (Nothing ever changes)

As well as Weisz the film stars Vanessa Redgrave, Monica Bellucci and David Strathairn. It was filmed mainly on location in Romania and my only gripe with the movie itself is that some of the dialog was pretty difficult to understand which always tends to impair your enjoyment of what is potentially a worthwhile film.

[1] Synopsis
[2] Production notes

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