The Whistleblower (2010)

The Whistleblower
Director: Larysa Kondracki
Writer: Larysa Kondracki, Eilis Kirwan
Cast: Rachel Weisz, Vanessa Redgrave, Monica Bellucci, David Strathairn, Nikolaj Lie Kaas, Roxana Condurache, Paula Schramm, Alexandru Potocean, Jeanette Hain, Benedict Cumberbatch, David Hewlett, Luke Treadaway, Liam Cunningham

[Trigger Warning]

Kathryn (Rachel Weisz) is a cop who lives for her job. That even cost her her marriage and the custody of her daughter. Now her ex-husband is moving away and Kathryn can’t get a transfer to move after her daughter. So she takes up an offer to go to Bosnia and work for the UN there (through a private contractor). What at first was only supposed to be a way to get a lot of cash fast, turns into much more when Kathryn realizes that there is a lot of sex trafficking going on – and that the people she works with are deeply involved.

The Whistleblower is a hard film. It’s the kind of film that makes you want to not live in this world. It’s excellently made and depressing as hell, especially since it is based on a true story and only has a semi-positive ending. But I do think it is important that you watch it. Just bring chocolate and friends and rainbows.

It is surprising and not surprising at all that this movie isn’t known all around. Despite that huge cast list and the important issue, it is made by a woman, about a woman and about “women’s issues”. And it doesn’t even have the decency of really having a happy end. Easy to ignore, I guess, but very unfortunate that it is so.

And it really doesn’t deserve it. Larysa Kondracki’s direction is great. Especially when it comes to showing the sexual violence, she has a firm grip of things. She shows the entire tragedy and the whole fuck-up, without even the slightest risk of titillation or too many details. [It is sad enough that this is something that this is rare enough that it has to be pointed out and lauded, but that is the world we live in.]

Rachel Weisz is generally made of awesome and this film is no exception. She is amazing, giving Kathryn strength, vulnerability and resolve and making it seem effortless. If I hadn’t already been convinced by Weisz’ abilities, this movie would have left me no choice than to be blown away by her. She’s surrounded by a strong supporting cast; Vanessa Redgrave, Monika Bellucci, David Strathairn were fantastic.

Everything comes together in this film to put you through a mincer. But sometimes that’s just what you need.

Summarising: I can really only recommend that you watch it. Even if it might be hard, it is definitely worth it.

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