One Woman Against a Corrupt World
Starring: Rachel Weisz, David
Strathairn, Nikolaj Lie Kaas,
Anna Anissimova, Roxana
Condurache, Monica Belucci,
Vanessa Redgrave, David
Runtime: 118 minutes
Distributor: Samuel Goldwyn Films
Director: Larysa Kondracki
Executive Producer: Amy Kaufman, Peter Schafer,
Producer: Christina Piovesan, Celine
Writer: Eilis Kirwan, Larysa Kondracki
Address Comments To:Samuel Goldwyn, Jr., Chairman/CEO
Meyer Gottlieb, President
Samuel Goldwyn Films
9570 West Pico Blvd., 4th Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90035
Phone: (310) 860-3100; Fax: (310) 860-3195
Website: www.samuelgoldwynfilms.com; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Based on a true story, the movie opens in Ukraine with two teenagers, Raya and Luba, talking about leaving to take a job outside the country. Cut to Kathy Bolkovac, a divorced policewoman in Nebraska played by Rachel Weisz, deciding to take a lucrative job as a police officer in Bosnia in 1999 so she can help provide for her and her ex husband’s children.
When she gets to Bosnia, however, she begins to suspect something’s not quite right. Her concerns are confirmed when she encounters Raya and Luba, who have escaped from a seedy bar run by sex traffickers. Kathy promises Raya and Luba she will make sure they get home.
That promise turns out to be easier said than done when she and her police partner, Viko, have to split up while Viko drives the girls to a safe house for protection. The sex traffickers attack Viko’s van, beat him up and kidnap the girls.
Kathy begins a desperate search to find Raya, but she learns that members of the police force, including a cocky American played by David Hewlett of STARGATE: ATLANTIS on TV, are part of the sex trade. The further she investigates, the more corruption, indifference and resistance she encounters.
THE WHISTLEBLOWER is a compelling indictment of the lax international efforts trying to stop the scourge of human trafficking. The U.S. doesn’t get off the hook in the movie, especially the U.S. State Dept., which apparently gave Miss Bolkovac so little support she had to file a successful wrongful dismissal suit when the U.N. fires her. Apparently, her case was a cause célèbre in Europe that received scant attention by the sex-crazed “news” media in America.
The subject matter of THE WHISTLEBLOWER inherently requires strong caution, as does the movie’s strong foul language. The movie goes a little overboard in a couple scenes, however. For example, in one brutal scene, the movie implies that Raya is punished for her escape by being sodomized (see the CONTENT section above for more details). This sets up the movie’s climactic moment when Kathy finally finds Raya working as a “waitress” in a bar and Kathy desperately tries to convince Raya one more time to trust her. The first scene could have been toned down a bit, but the second scene is harrowing, dramatic and extremely painful as well as very informative. That’s because it shows, more than words can say, just why the authorities have so much trouble getting victims of human trafficking to testify.
As Paul writes in Romans 13, the first job of civil authorities like local, state and national government is to “punish evildoers.” In today’s nation state, however, the government often does everything BUT that. In addition, the weak role of the United Nations in this story just shows, once again, how useless that institution has become.
Jesus Christ warns us in John 3:20,21, “Everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But, he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.” THE WHISTLEBLOWER does not take an overtly Christian approach to its story, but it has shed light on a terrible problem that demands everyone’s immediate attention.
THE WHISTLEBLOWER is a riveting movie shedding light on a terrible problem affecting the whole world. Rachel Weisz gives a superb performance in the title role. That said, the subject matter and some of the movie’s content warrant extreme caution. Kudos to THE WHISTLEBLOWER, however, for bringing this issue to light.