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Whistleblower (2010)

 R |  DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (244 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Dubbed: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: January 24, 2012
  • Run Time: 112 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (244 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B006DHATE6
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #63,118 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

Kathy Bolkovac: The Real Whistleblower

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

Rachel Weisz delivers a terrifically tough performance in this (unfortunately) fact-based drama about one woman's crusade against human trafficking in postwar Bosnia. Director-cowriter Larysa Kondracki's film follows Kathryn Bolkovac (Weisz), a small-town cop who enlists with the United Nations Peacekeepers in an attempt to regain custody of her daughter. After forming a rapport with her neglected female charges, she stumbles into a widespread web of torture, prostitution, and murder, an underground network made all the more dangerous by its shadowy ties to her own coworkers and superiors. Making her feature-film debut, Kondracki displays a firm sense of pacing, an appropriate air of gravity, and a knack for assembling an ace supporting cast, including Vanessa Redgrave, Monica Bellucci, and especially David Strathairn, who underplays beautifully as a lawyer of uncertain motive. Unfortunately, the film's depiction of the atrocities visited on the young women, while arguably necessary to convey the horror of the situation, does at times threaten to cross over into the queasily exploitative. (For once, the Hollywood dictum of "show, don't tell" may be a mistake.) Viewers with stronger stomachs, however, will be rewarded by a superb performance by Weisz, who depicts her character's change from horrified idealist to hardened realist with aplomb, creating a strong female protagonist without ever seeming superhuman. In a part that would be easy to triumphantly overplay, Weisz lets her eyes convey the toll of her character's considerable accomplishments. No matter the scope of her victories, what she's seen won't ever go away. --Andrew Wright

Product Description

Academy Award® Winners Rachel Weisz and Vanessa Redgrave* head a powerful cast that includes Oscar® Nominee David Strathairn** in writer-director Larysa Kondracki’s harrowing dramatic thriller. When Nebraska cop Kathryn Bolkovac (Weisz) accepts a U.N. peacekeeper position in post-war Bosnia, she discovers a deadly sex trafficking ring. Risking her own life to save the lives of others, she uncovers an international conspiracy that is determined to stop her, no matter the cost. With masterful acting and a heart-racing plot, The Whistleblower is an acclaimed film inspired by actual events.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
69 of 74 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fighting human rights violations January 17, 2012
Format:Blu-ray
"The Whistleblower," based on a true story, is a gritty movie about sexual trafficking in Bosnia. Kathryn Bolkovac (Rachel Weisz), a Nebraska cop, is a divorced mom who takes a job with a security contractor for big pay and a short tour in the Balkans. She discovers that ethnic tensions have caused local cops to refuse to investigate domestic violence cases, particularly those involving Muslims. She is promoted and put in charge of gender affairs by a U.N. official (Vanessa Redgrave), but is increasingly frustrated. After building cases against sexual traffickers, she's told they enjoy diplomatic immunity.

Bolkovac is a lone crusader, persuading fearful women to testify against their abusers, bucking diplomatic hypocrisy, and dealing with rampant paranoia. Ms. Weisz heads this topical political thriller, turning in a powerful performance, one of her best. The movie underscores the collateral damage caused by politics and maintaining the delicate balance of world peace, though it's far more compelling as one strong woman's efforts to advocate for those without a voice.

The sole special feature on this release, available in Blu-ray and DVD editions, is a featurette about real-life whistleblower Kathy Bolkovac.
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53 of 56 people found the following review helpful
Format:Amazon Instant Video
The Whistleblower is not a comfortable film to watch, nor is it supposed to be - Rachel Weisz takes on an extremely difficult role here that could have come across as monotone in the hands of someone less capable. I used to think she was a fairly average actress but she's clearly become somebody extremely skilled around challenging material. Some of her final scenes in the film are Oscar-worthy and underscore a number of sickening truths that have been developed throughout the script.

From the first few minutes, it's pretty clear that the story isn't going to have a happy ending and once you see what military contractors and UN officials were conspiring to achieve, it's enough to make you want to write letters to your elected representatives. I haven't read anything to indicate that the situation shown in this film is untrue and it paints an extremely shameful picture of what Westerns organizations were doing while supposedly protecting civilians.

Overall, it's an intelligent and believable political drama with sharp dialog and fast pacing. Be warned that there are a couple of very unpleasant scenes that are necessary to convey the atrocities involved but may be too much for some viewers.
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35 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Harsh Realities Exposed January 22, 2012
Format:DVD
THE WHISTLEBLOWER is a film that kicks you in the stomach and then continues to play out the worst possible truths that we'd rather not admit exist. The theme of the film is Human Trafficking, and apparently there are about 2.5 million victims around the world today - young people who are sold into sexual slavery for the financial gain of people from all areas of life, including our own government, the International Practices Task Force, and contracted companies supported by the US Government to rebuild who are assigned to third world countries and countries besieged by or recovering from war, and in our own cities in this country. This film is based on a true story, a story written (and discussed in the bonus track on the DVD) by Kathryn Bolkovac who was transferred from her police job in Lincoln, Nebraska to Bosnia (with the promise of $100,000. and a six month term) to monitor the local Sarajevo police and advise them on proper police procedures. Bolkovac's story was written for the screen by Eilis Kirwan and director Larysa Kondracki who also directed the story with stinging reality.

Kathryn Bolkovac (Rachel Weisz) is a recently divorced mother of a young girl who has lost custody of her daughter because of her constant commitment to her job. When she is offered a lot of money and an advancement if she will go to Bosnia on a special assignment she accepts, feeling that if she ha money she can return home to live close to her young daughter. When she arrives in Sarajevo she is treated with distance from the colleagues with whom she will be working. Her first accomplishment is bringing to justice the abuse of a Muslim woman who has been constantly a victim of spousal abuse - something not considered a crime until Kathryn proves it in court.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars from someone who has seen it, lived it, told it February 16, 2012
Format:Amazon Instant Video|Verified Purchase
Personally working in Darfur, Southern Sudan, Nuba Mountains, DR Congo, Romania, Moldova, and Peru, I can tell you that I was skeptical of this movie, before I saw it. Kathryn does an amazing job of conveying her and the girls story as well as the larger problem. And, once again, Rachel delivers an unflinching rendition of a heart-breaking, no-win situation. Many would call Kathryn a fool because she was not "successful" in saving the few, however, I know that the price she paid--and continues to pay--renders her life a broken prayer (as in K.D. Langs song, Hallelujah). God bless you both Kathryn and Rachel. [...]
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Circle of Life? January 24, 2012
Format:Amazon Instant Video|Verified Purchase
"Humanity, I love you because when you're hard up you pawn your intelligence to buy a drink." E.E. Cummings

'The Whistleblower' did a fine job of focusing attention on the atrocity of sex-trading young women in postwar Bosnia. Even further troubling, for some of us, is the fact that U.N.'Peace Keeping Contractors', another phrase to add to my list of paradoxymorons in this case, were involved. This was an intelligent thriller and Weis was, as usual, extraordinary.

This movie, about the abuse and trivialization of women, provoked an interesting response in me, for sure. But that would be a rant and I will not perpetrate it upon you...
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars This is the best. A must see
A most interesting movie. I've seen a lot of Rachel Weiss movies. This is the best.A must see.
Published 3 days ago by Catherine
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Excellent.
Published 6 days ago by Micki
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
It was good
Published 8 days ago by Sandra K.
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
VERY good movie!
Published 9 days ago by Conrad
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting movie.
Pretty good movie about white slavery; the acting is fantastic throughout. The setting is rather bleak; as is the ending, but the movie does a good job of portraying some of the... Read more
Published 10 days ago by bronze
4.0 out of 5 stars Compelling
The acting was very good. The movie provided a compelling insight into yet another abuse of power. The movie also had a few twists, drama and suspense. Read more
Published 18 days ago by Curtis L Whitley
5.0 out of 5 stars interesting
good movie, i was amazed with it because it is based on a true story. my daughter found it to be drawn out but i like it.
Published 1 month ago by Diane L. Kraft
5.0 out of 5 stars Great movie!
Great movie showing one small story of government inaction and corruption in the outside world especially with departments basically outside of proper management and jurisdiction..
Published 1 month ago by Dana Vincent
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow!
Hard movie to watch. I wish it weren't a true story. I'm glad they turned her experience into a movie. More people need to step up and have a back bone like this.
Published 1 month ago by R. Cook
4.0 out of 5 stars Reality check
If you are looking to be entertained, don't watch it. If you need a trip to the world of the horrors of reality, well then watch this movie. Read more
Published 2 months ago by anita blackmon
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