Movie Review - A 'Whistleblower' Against International Injustice Based on a true story, a U.N. peacekeeper in Bosnia discovers her colleagues are complicit in a sex-trafficking network. Bob Mondello says the thriller is pulse-quickening, with a strong (if unsubtle) sense of moral outrage.
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A 'Whistleblower' Against International Injustice

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A 'Whistleblower' Against International Injustice



A 'Whistleblower' Against International Injustice

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Bob Mondello reviews the new drama, "Whistleblower."

BOB MONDELLO: Being a peacekeeper in Bosnia, a nation where ethnic strife goes back generations can't ever have struck Police Officer Kathy Bolkovac as an easy job, but it probably hadn't occurred to her that the guys working with her wouldn't necessarily be allies.


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: (as Character) So, where do we sign to see (unintelligible)?

RACHEL WEISZ: (as Kathryn Bolkovac) It says right here, U.N mandate requires you to sign at the end...

MAN: (as Character) Yes, but this paper is no good. The new policy is...

MAN: (as Character) (Unintelligible) You sign them in, then bugger off. (Unintelligible), yeah?

WEISZ: (as Kathryn Bolkovac) Yes.

MAN: (as Character) Welcome to paradise.

MAN: (as Character) Follow me.

MONDELLO: Kathy, played by Rachel Weisz, sees a case on this first day that only she seems interested in: a middle-aged woman stabbed by her husband. It's not the first time the woman's come in, but each time no charges are filed, and she's sent back to her husband. And looks as if that's going to happen again.


WEISZ: (as Kathryn Bolkovac) Well, what did he say?

MAN: (as Character) The woman is Muslim and she deserved it.

WEISZ: Their job, Kathy's told, is to observe not to investigate. But she's an investigator. So she teams up with a local officer and they take the case to court. Two months later, they win, which earns her tea with a U.N. official played by Vanessa Redgrave.


VANESSA REDGRAVE: (as Madeleine Rees) You've just facilitated the first conviction for domestic violence since the end of the war in Bosnia.

WEISZ: (as Kathryn Bolkovac) Well, it's just my job.

REDGRAVE: (as Madeleine Rees) You can't imagine how that makes you stand out around here. You know, I (unintelligible) have Gender Affairs Office and I think you're the right person to take over.

MONDELLO: When she does, all of her cases involve women, many of them prostitutes at clubs and brothels frequented by the very men Bolkovac works with each day, which is not a coincidence. Kathy uncovers a trail of bribes, sex trafficking and, worse, that leads straight back to her U.N. colleagues. But the victims are afraid to testify. The U.N., they have learned from experience, is just there to observe.


WEISZ: (as Kathryn Bolkovac) They can't knowingly have one of their men involved in rape, kidnapping and torture.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: (as Character) How do you do this if you work for the U.N.?

WEISZ: (as Kathryn Bolkovac) I'm an American police officer. It doesn't matter who I work for, I wouldn't let anybody get away with this.

WOMAN: (as Character) You promise you can stop these men?

WEISZ: (as Kathryn Bolkovac) Well, I can't promise I can stop all these men. I promise...

WOMAN: (as Character) You cannot promise, then why do we agree? How do I know this is safe?

WEISZ: (as Kathryn Bolkovac) You're a smart girl.

MONDELLO: These other films, let's note, were directed by men and tell their stories of social injustice politely. The women behind "The Whistleblower," suit their filmmaking to the atrocities they're exposing and show no such reserve.

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