“The Whistleblower,” is a dark and gritty story about sex trafficking in post-war Bosnia and sadly, it’s based on the true story of Kathy Bolkovac who’s played in the film by Rachel Weisz (The Constant Gardner, A Streetcar Named Desire) . Bolkovac is a divorced mom and small town Nebraska cop who takes a security job as a contractor in the Balkans because it promises big money for a short time commitment. She’s lost her custody of her daughter because of the incredible time commitment her job takes, so this 6 month position for $100,000 is seemingly the answer to her problems.
But she arrives in Balkins she discovers that the local police will not investigate domestic violence cases, especially those which involve Muslims. Worse, beyond she also discovers that women are being tortured, sold into prostitution, and murdered. Bolkovac becomes a lone crusader who works tirelessly to convince victims to testify against their perpetrators.
“Rachel Weisz’s performance holds the viewer every step of the way!” –Variety
“Incendiary. Bracing. Explosive.” –The Hollywood Reporter
Vanessa Redgrave portrays a UN Official who’s sympathetic but politics puts her in a delicate position. She promotes Bolkovac to a position that puts her in charge of Gender Affairs, but after she builds a case against some particularly heinous sex traffickers she’s unable to get them prosecuted because they’re protected by diplomatic immunity. Bolkovac is frustrated but works tirelessly to give these women a voice.
Rachel Weisz does a phenomenal job of maintaining tension and suspense in her acting throughout this very hard to watch movie. The writing is done well and the story cohesive, but her talent definitely lends to the overall perfection of the movie. Her character transition from small town idealist to hardened realist with an edge, but she never loses her likability and throughout the film I was rooting for her to succeed. The film is paced well and never loses it’s momentum forward. There are some very difficult scenes to watch and this is certainly not for everyone.
The Whistleblower Film Details
- Special Features: The Blu-ray and DVD editions include a short featurette about real-life whistleblower Kathy Bolkovac.
- Rated: R (Restricted)
- Studio: 20th Century Fox
- DVD Release Date: January 24, 2012
- Run Time: 112 minutes
Follow Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment on Twitter @FoxHomeEnt/
- Has the UN learned lessons of Bosnian sex slavery revealed in Rachel Weisz film? (guardian.co.uk)
- More than a Movie: ‘The Whistleblower’s Heartfelt Plea for Greater Humanity (Review) (popmatters.com)
- Movie Review: Zeta-Jones Stars in “The Rebound” on DVD and Blu-Ray (aimlesscurator.com)