"One Woman Against a Corrupt World"
THE WHISTLEBLOWER is a riveting political thriller and drama about an American policewoman working for United Nations peacekeeping forces in Bosnia, who fights a sex trafficking ring and corruption. The nature of the movie’s subject matter merits strong caution, but the movie deals with a major issue in a way that encourages people to take a stand against the villains who perpetrate such evil. Even so, the filmmakers could have handled their story a little less graphically in a couple scenes.
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.
(BB, Pa, Fe, LLL, VV, SS, NN, A, DD, MM) Strong moral worldview exposing human trafficking and corruption in Bosnia, undercut by some pagan and feminist elements; about 29 obscenities (about 20 “f” words), three strong profanities and three light profanities, plus girls forced to sleep in squalid conditions; strong violence includes implied rape, policeman beaten up, girls under police protection taken by force, girl beaten up, bruises on captive women’s faces, a couple shots of dead people, fighting, implied torture room but not graphic, and tense confrontations; strong sexual content includes sex trafficking ring uncovered (including involving underage teenagers), implied rape to shut 17-year-old girl up, implied fornication, implied torture room but details are not explicit, and photos and images showing men in bars with underage teenagers and young women forced to be sex slaves and “waitresses”; upper female nudity in one scene and girls dressed in skimpy clothing in photos and in bars; alcohol use; smoking and implied drug use; and, extreme mistreatment of females, kidnapping, sex trafficking, corruption, and apathy by the bad guys and antagonists.
Based on a true story, THE WHISTLEBLOWER focuses on Kathy Bolkovac, a divorced policewoman in Nebraska, deciding to take a lucrative job as a police officer in Bosnia in 1999. When she gets to Bosnia, she encounters two Ukrainian teenage girls who have escaped from a seedy bar run by sex traffickers. Kathy promises the girls 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 them, but learns that members of the police force are taking part in the sex trafficking. The further she investigates, the more corruption, indifference and resistance she encounters.
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.