A brave American policewoman discovered and exposed the sex trafficking of young girls in Bosnia and Herzegovina in the late ‘90s, only to realize that the people supposed to stop such crimes were actually overseeing it. The true story of Kathryn Bolkovac’s time as a UN peacekeeper shown in Larysa Kondracki’s The Whistleblower (2010) exposes the United Nations like never before.
Kathryn Bolkovac, a cop from Nebraska, goes to post-war Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1999 to serve as in the UN peacekeeping force. Almost immediately after arriving there she notices injustice to women who are victims of domestic violence in the country. But she stumbles upon still darker and a far more gut-wrenching secret when she discovers a sex slavery dungeon operated at a bar frequented by influential locals as well as people from international organizations, including members of the UN peacekeeping mission. As Kathryn reports the matter to the authorities, she realizes she is inside a swamp where sex trafficking is protected to the highest offices in the world body she is serving.
Rachel Weisz has delivered in the protagonist Kathryn Bolkovac’s character in this riveting and at times difficult-to-watch thriller drama of a political scandal. Romanian actress Roxana Condurache plays Raya, a Ukranian teen sold into sex slavery in Bosnia and brutalized there by the traffickers while she is silenced by UN peacekeepers complicit in the sex slavery business.
The movie is based on Canadian journalist Victor Malarek’s 2004 book The Natashas: Inside the New Global Sex Trade. Being a true story and exposing the dark reality of the United Nations, The Whistleblower comes in the same spirit as Gavin Hood’s Official Secrets (2019). It’s not surprising that the movie was largely ignored and had a limited release, reaching not more than 70 theatres and not getting the global attention it deserved.
The Whistleower got an R rating by the MPAA for “disturbing violent content including a brutal sexual assault, graphic nudity and language.”
IMDb Page: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0896872/