A historical drama set in Roman Egypt, concerning a slave who turns to the rising tide of Christianity in the hope of pursuing freedom while falling in love with his mistress, the famous philosophy and mathematics professor Hypatia of Alexandria.
A married couple moves back to his childhood village to start a family, but a surprise visit from the husband's brother ignites sibling rivalry and exposes lies embedded in the couple's ... See full summary »
James and his three closest lifelong friends go on an ill-advised trip to the stunning coastal area of Barafundle Bay in West Wales. What follows is a touching and comical adventure dealing with friendship, heroism and love.
Researcher Dr. Stephen Ezard returns home to the UK after the reported death of his brother, Michael Ezard, only to find that his widow, Yasim Anwar, is harboring a wanted yet deathly ill ... See full summary »
A working mother puts herself through law school in an effort to represent her brother, who has been wrongfully convicted of murder and has exhausted his chances to appeal his conviction through public defenders.
Inspired by true events, Kathy (Rachel Weisz) is an American police officer who takes a job working as a peacekeeper in post-war Bosnia. Her expectations of helping to rebuild a devastated country are dashed when she uncovers a dangerous reality of corruption, cover-up and intrigue amid a world of private contractors and multinational diplomatic doubletalk. Written by
The film takes place in post War Bosnia, but was not filmed there. Furthermore, every single character playing a Bosnian national in the movie when supposed to have been speaking in Bosnian (and subtitles were used), does not speak in that language at all, rather in some Slavic language very different to Bosnian. There is, however, a brief scene when an actor playing one of the regional cops, testifies in court (and reading from paper in his hands, probably his testimony), when he went to great lengths to actually speak the Bosnian language. Unfortunately, his accent is extremely heavy and would have never passed for a Bosniak. During that one scene when the correct language was actually spoken, the English subtitles were so badly and incorrectly translated, to the point of nearly changing the entire sum of what he had said in the film and its meaning. Obviously who ever worked as a language consultant on this film had very poor knowledge of the Bosnian (or Serbo-Croatian) language used throughout Bosnia. See more »
In the opening sequence which is entirely in the language of Ukraine, as Raya is being photographed, Luba whispers while mouthing the word "smile" in English. See more »
I have to get home. Mama's gonna kill me.
No. You are staying with me tonight. Roman wants us there at nine in the morning. Raya, we've been over this. It's just a few months working in a hotel.
You want to work at a Copyshack like your mother? He said it was both of us or nothing!
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Very important subject matter which is hard to watch, but must be
The vast majority of the time one hears the words 'government contract' it is safe to assume it is not the best and brightest people who are volunteering to go for extended periods of time to locales termed war zones. Sure, there are those altruistic few who take up the charge to make the world a better place, but routinely, it is just someone willing to exchange six months of their life in exchange for a juicy paycheck. The Whistleblower's heroine, Kathryn Bolkovac (Rachel Wiesz) is one such person. She was a Nebraska police officer who signed on with a company called Democra who had a security contract with the United Nations.
For six months of her time and $100,000, Kathryn was to monitor the local Sarajevo police and advise them on proper police procedures. Very quickly, she discovers the word monitor means turn a blind eye as Serbs, Croats, and Bosniaks abuse whatever power they have to continue a sort of undeclared war on each other. The Serb policemen will not investigate or prosecute domestic violence cases, especially if the woman is Muslim. Kathryn successfully leads Bosnia's first case against domestic violence earning her a more visible job as the department head for gender affairs.
Now her scope includes far more than standard local police issues. Young Eastern European and Russian girls are turning up on the streets and shelters looking severely assaulted and sexually abused. To her shock and dismay, Kathryn learns that United Nations employees from all nations are not only the girls' customers, but frequently aid local human traffickers in their transport and have an interest in holding the girls against their will.
Nobody in any position of authority ever raises their hand for a scandal, so all of Kathryn's investigations and findings are swept under the rug and she is ostracized from the rest of her compatriots who are either not interested in obtaining justice for the girls or believe so much in bureaucracy and paperwork that they sometimes send the girls right back to their rapists. On Kathryn's side is the High Commissioner for Human Rights rep played by Vanessa Redgrave and an internal affairs agent played by David Strathairn.
Frequently, the subject matter and scenes of girls undergoing sexual abuse and torture are stomach churning. The film can be relentless at times showing various punishments and cruelty. Human trafficking, especially if it involves a trusted world organization and its sleazy contractors, is an extremely important subject to cover and make films about; therefore, be ready to adjust uncomfortably in your seats as you watch downright disgusting and brutal activities perpetrated against teenage girls.
The Whistleblower deserves applause for bringing to light the company Democra which still carries out government contracts to this day. However, when the film takes a break for showing the girls' plight, it focuses on Kathryn's personal life and back story which are choppy and do not come across as fully thought out. There is her home life back in the states which she left, including her daughter, and an awkward budding romance with a Dutch security contractor. Including romance and relationships in a film with this disturbing subject matter would be tough for any director, and this first time feature director does not quite pull it off.
It will take this reviewer some time to get over some of the images in The Whistleblower; tread at your own risk. But this story deserves to be told and shown in all of its brutality.
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