The Whistleblower (2011)
Directed by: Larysa Kondracki | 112 minutes | drama | Actors: Rachel Weisz, Vanessa Redgrave, Monica Bellucci, David Strathairn, Nikolaj Lie Kaas, Roxana Condurache, Paula Schramm, Alexandru Potocean, William Hope, Rayisa Kondracki, Jeanette Hain, Benedict Cumberbatch, David Hewlett, Coca Bloos, Luke Treadaway
The judge’s remarkable decision to assign custody of the children of American agent Kathryn Bolkovac (Rachel Weisz) to her ex-husband makes Kathryn want to live more near her children. She needs money to move, so she applies for the lucrative position of peacekeeper in Bosnia. Although the civil war is over, the differences in this country are still clearly noticeable and people still live at odds. Once in Bosnia, Kathryn soon gets wind of people smuggling and prostitution in which the United Nations and other agencies seem to play an active role. In order to do something for the kidnapped girls, Kathryn decides to investigate.
In ‘The Whistleblower’ we are drawn into the pernicious world of the trafficking in women. Even worse is the fact that widely respected agencies and the UN are also trying to profit from this and even actively participate in this trafficking in women. Although the story is very shocking in terms of information and a number of scenes are, sometimes it is all very black and white. The good and bad guys fulfill their roles brilliantly, but their characters leave no room for a middle ground, while that is of course especially the case in daily life. That the film does not leave you full of astonishment can certainly be attributed to director Larysa Kondracki. ‘The Whistleblower’ takes too much time to actually intrigue and often remains a bit docile. Perhaps the director takes little risk because this is her first feature film. The scenes in which we see the girls who have become victims of this human trafficking hit like a bomb. The torture of the girls and their fear of the consequences if they were to tell something about their ‘bosses’ are very strong, partly due to the unsatisfactory ending of the film.
Rachel Weisz (‘The Mummy’, ‘The Fountain’) portrays her character well, although she is perhaps a bit too naive at the beginning, who becomes increasingly entangled in the web of human trafficking and the role of high-ranking people in it. Her unequal struggle against this provokes bewilderment at the actions of auxiliaries and very clearly conveys the message that wherever you are and in whatever company you are there will always be things that cannot bear the light of day.
The supporting roles of Monica Bellucci (‘Irréversible’), Vanessa Redgrave (‘Howards End’) and Nikolaj Lie Kaas (‘Brødre’) seem perfectly suited and offer more than just the fun reunion of famous actors.
‘The Whistleblower’ is basically a film about the aftermath of the civil war in Bosnia. The dramatic aspect of this is unfortunately too much underexposed and therefore mainly remains in the background. ‘The Whistleblower’ tells a horrible story, but it doesn’t quite succeed in transferring this amazement to outsiders.