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The Whistleblower
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Reviews & Ratings for
The Whistleblower More at IMDbPro »

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

An extremely accurate, powerful film

9/10
Author: sidney76
7 February 2012

I worked for the State Department in Bosnia for two years not long after the peace agreement. I had no knowledge of the sex trafficking. So I am not qualified to speak to the veracity of how it was presented. But because everything else shown in the film is so extremely accurate, I have to believe that is as well. The scenes, the people, the language, the attitudes, the buildings, the clothing, the vehicles, everything. Indeed, this is one of the most realistic movies I have ever seen. It is almost documentary-like but with superb acting. Each performer provides a brilliant portrayal.

Congratulations to Ms. Kondracki, Ms. Weisz, Mr. Potocean, Ms. Condurache, all the cast and to everyone who made this film possible. I hope this is but the first of many films for Ms. Kondracki. I doubt if there have been more than a very few directors whose first film is of this quality. Thank you and good luck to everybody who was involved in this very special and vitally important movie.

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Who knew this was going on

6/10
Author: phd_travel from United States
4 September 2012

This isn't about the ethnic violence in Bosnia. There have been other movies about that. It's about the contract companies that are there for peacekeeping and some of it's employees who traffic women for prostitution. It's a crime that many might not have known is going on.

Rachel Weisz is rather a strange choice. She comes across as rather European both in looks and manner - not a cop from the mid West. She just can't do a convincing American accent. She looks nothing like the real person either.

Some faults. The plot line dealing with the girls seemed a bit muddled. The movie had too much time spent on what Rachel Weisz's character did prior to blowing the whistle. Not enough was shown about the actual lawsuit and effects.

Overall a decent movie highlighting the issue.

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3 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Incredible story but poor screenplay

6/10
Author: perkypops from United Kingdom
7 July 2012

What is not to like about a film which has an important story to tell, which is, at times, superbly acted and which is, as the opening credits tell us, based on fact? Kathy (Weisz), a US police officer with troublesome personal affairs for which a solution is desperately elusive hears about an opportunity to raise her income by becoming a UN peacekeeper in Bosnia. Kathy's compassion for others, her support for those less able to fight for themselves and her sense of justice in her early stay of duty does not go unnoticed and she is asked to consider fulfilling a more senior gender specific role by Madeleine (Redgrave). It is this role that the film explores the horrendous problems of human trafficking and sex crimes.

I could not fault the depth of revelation the film provides but I did consider the direction and screenplay as not befitting of the action thus detracting from the grim retelling we watch. The unevenness in the screenplay is never stronger than the events in the final quarter of the film where we witness a very muddled exposure of tactics because the real revelations are made to seem less important than personal heroics. Some very emotional and touching scenes are made less dramatic by poor visual imagery, and poor use of camera angles reducing the impact of body language, audio clues, and atmosphere. Perhaps the film makers couldn't settle whether they wanted drama or documentary but I felt the punches were often pulled and clumsy.

However the story and, at times, the quality of the acting, should make this film required viewing and so I award it six out of ten.

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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Thought provoking and a heart wrencher...

9/10
Author: gavrielhm from Australia
21 September 2012

I found the movie to be very thought provoking and a bit of a heart wrencher. I felt for the girls portrayed and for those in real life that are enduring the merciless brutality of these heartless thugs, and their families some of whom have obviously lost their loved one's, forever. Its hard to believe there are people like this in the world and the agencies set up to protect the innocent just ignore it.

The hypocrisy of the UN is something i am well aware of including that of governments especially the US / west. The US and UN are known for turning a blind eye to all sorts of atrocities in the name of $$ and political agendas, and this just confirms again that the UN is nothing more than a front for big business / corporatist greed and political power mongers.

I long for justice to be mete out to these lawless groups and individuals and that day is not too far away now. Funny thing is my first thoughts were, if i had the opportunity to pass judgment on these people they would have been buried a long time ago but, I know that someone else will be handing out the justice even after these people go to their graves.

For those who hate men, remember it is only a small fraction of men from within society that have the ability to rape and murder men woman and children without a second thought, and it is these (mainly) men who live by the sword and will die by it.

Life is too short to hate especially gender or ethnicity based, love is the answer and will set you free from those whom appear de-void of it. There is One looking out for each and every one of us whether we like it or not and it is only Him that we will answer to in the end.

Rachel Weisz I admire for her role in this production and wonder what her personal thoughts are in relation to these continuing atrocities...

G

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0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

A serious topic, based on real events - but not so exciting

7/10
Author: Bene Cumb from Estonia
31 October 2012

Transition of scenes is often hectic and stolid, and women characters- actresses (Raquel Weisz, Vanessa Redgrave, Monica Bellucci, all those depicting suffering girls) dominate over male ones who appear briefly. And human trafficking is no longer a problem of Eastern Europe only, but post- war regions see its most brutal and inhuman occurrence. In the Balkans it is also linked to hatred on the basis of ethnicity and religion.

The film is strongly Weisz-related and there are few scenes without her. Well, and the primary cause I decided to watch this movie was the name of Benedict Cumberbatch in the cast, but he appeared on screen for less than 5 minutes in total. What a waste of talent...

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0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

An Unlovely Subject...

8/10
Author: Tim Kidner (tim@kidnerpix.com) from Salisbury, United Kingdom
17 September 2012

Frankly, no-one really wants to read about or watch films about things we know go on but, thankfully, can forget them, as we are not part of it ourselves.

Had Whistleblower not been based on a true story and a real person, then it could have become as sinister as the acts dealt with themselves. Kathryn Bolkovac (Rachel Weisz) was a Nebraska cop who gets seconded to Bosnia as part of the U.N's post-war peace-keeping operations. There, she finds a network of sex trafficking that use young, under-age local girls. Nothing that unusual there perhaps except that the U.S security firm contracted not only turned a blind eye but were complicit with local police and U.N. officials.

Fighting solely for the girls' plights, as they come to her, bruised, battered and exploited, she finds more obstacles and opposition, until she's suddenly re-posted, obviously to move her away from finding out more. This is when she realises that the extent of the situation and when her real battle starts.

This is not a pretty or happy biopic. Bolkovic herself comes across as quite a grey character as we see her trying to bed men almost straight away when she's first posted. It is believable though, thoroughly at times and it's also quite memorable. Debutant Canadian director Larysa Kondracki wanted to pull no punches, so there are dungeons of imprisoned girls who get raped, but this is part of a whole story and an important one, unpleasant as it is to watch, we do need reminding of how damaging this abuse is and thus, the scale of the problem.

I found the 110 minutes duration about right and whilst it won't be on my Christmas list it is well enough directed, the few rough edges suited to the grittiness of the subject. The acting was fine and it's always a pleasure to see Vanessa Redgrave in anything - she's almost become the Mother Theresa of film, in my affectionate eyes! There's no happy or finite ending, either, but (to me) a satisfactory one. You just know that this is just a tip of an awfully big iceberg and without doubt this was the message that the film intends to implant within us. Good film.

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9 out of 20 people found the following review useful:

skip it if you know ANYTHING about the Balkans

Author: Daniel Meersman from Mexico
2 September 2011

Awful to see that it didn't occur to anyone to hire 1 Bosnian for a movie that's supposed to be in "Bosnia" (the set looks rather like an awkward mix between Canada and Czech Republic). The movie is full with Czechs, Russians and Romanians talking some weird mix of Bosnian and their own native languages. It damages the credibility of the movie so much. For any person that knows the region and language this movie is insulting.

I couldn't stand watching it for over 20 minutes. I heard from my wife that much later on in the movie Sergej Trifunovic does appear shortly shouting some insults in Bosnian (wow, an actor that actually speaks the local language), but nevertheless, I was not interested in continuing to watch. I now checked it, Trifunovic is the ONLY person in the entire cast which speaks the local language. Shameful.

Believe me, not all people in the Balkans-Eastern Europe-Russia are the same. How about to make a movie with Russian actors playing Americans during the events of 9/11, and film it Shangai? Doubt it would look natural. Unless we have them say some insults in some Texas redneck slang maybe? Hmmm, no, I still doubt the American public would be convinced.

Pity. I bet the movie could be interesting for anyone who doesn't know anything about the region. Rachel Weisz is a great actress, her talent seems wasted on movies such as this one.

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15 out of 32 people found the following review useful:

Authenticity problems

4/10
Author: damirpozderac from United States
24 August 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Excellent movie except for two major mishaps.

First, one would think that such an important subject would deserve at least to be produced properly, meaning, the director could have hired more than one Serbian, Croatian or Bosnian speaking actor if you are shooting a movie primarily in and about Bosnia. Perhaps it is not noticeable by most but it is highly annoying and detracting from this important subject if one knows the language and culture. At one point actors literally talk gibberish posing as if they are speaking in local tongue. The authenticity problems continue in several scenes that were supposed to be shot in Sarajevo, whereas they were most obviously shot in some American city. It is not a big gaff if you can hide it but the film fails to do so on many occasions.

Second mishap of this film is complete miscast of Monica Bellucci. Her acting bordered the worst scenes of soap opera episode that you can think of.

If you can see past those two points it is actually very good movie.

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0 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

A very emotional but long and slow true story about a former cop who uncovered a sex trafficking ring in Bosnia. I say B-

6/10
Author: Tony Heck (cosmo_tiger@hotmail.com) from United States
20 January 2012

"I am a police officer obligated to report crimes. I have taken statements from women describing their physical, psychological & emotional torture." A true story about Kathryn Bolkovac (Weisz), a cop from Nebraska who takes a job as a peacekeeper in post-war Bosnia. When she uncovers a sex trafficking ring she tries to get the word out. When she realizes that it is being covered up by the U.N. & State department she has more to worry about then Bosnian rebels. This is a hard movie to review. On one hand it is very emotional and hard to watch in some parts. The subject matter and the fact that it is true makes you angry while watching it. On the other hand it is a very slow moving movie that is at times hard to get through. I'm not saying it's not good but it is a rough movie to watch for more then one reason. I would compare it to the "Constant Gardner" in that aspect. It has a heavy subject matter but seems to take a long time to make it's point. Overall, a good but long movie that is worth watching if you can handle it. I give it a B-.

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2 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

I can't believe it...

Author: Erikwk04 from Netherlands
8 November 2011

Look, let's not waste time talking about the 'movie'. If the Whistleblower was a work of fiction it would rate as a tier 1 movie, mentioned in one breath with a great cinematic artwork, 'A few good men'. But it's not fiction, reality, it seems, is indeed stranger than fiction... If you can believe it.

I saw this movie just a few hours ago during a sneak preview in the Netherlands. The movie premieres here two days from now, but obviously the film has been seen by others much earlier. From what I could find online with a quick search is that at the very least the BBC interviewed Kathryn Bolkovac about her experiences in Bosnia, where she talked about the human trafficking and how the UN and a PMC have covered it up.

The Whistleblower is by any right a great movie, but if the claims it makes turn out to be true, well, that is a troubling thought...

I recommend this movie.

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