|Rachel Weisz as whistleblower Kathy Bolkovac|
My brother tipped me off to this piece from Deadline, which reports that Larysa Kondracki's film The Whistleblower has achieved a rare feat. The United Nations will be holding a screening of the film, followed by a Q&A with Kondracki, as well as former UN rights lawyer Madeleine Rees (played in the film by Vanessa Redgrave) among others. The panel will be hosted by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon and it seeks to use the film to interrogate the issues of sex-trafficking and corruption that the film exposes. The Secretary General previously sent a letter to the director, expressing his distress after seeing the film. More importantly, he acknowledged the systemic problems that the film addresses and ended the letter by saying, "I want to assure you that we shall embrace the challenge that your film places before the United Nations." (Read the full letter here.) The UN screening takes place today at 3:30.
I'm very happy to see The Whistleblower get the recognition it deserves. I've been championing the film since seeing it at TIFF last year (review), and I think it's exactly the kind of fearless, politically engaged filmmaking the world needs. The film is a harrowing exposé that tells the true story of Kathy Bolkovac, an American police officer who blew the whistle when she uncovered massive UN involvement in a sex-trafficking ring in Bosnia. Kondracki's film, co-written by Eilis Kirwan, takes Bolkovac's story and offers a damning portrait of officers making victims of the same people they aim to protect. The film has gained ample attention due to the commendable performance by Rachel Weisz as Bolkovac, but I'm glad that the key issue of the film is finally getting its proper due. Many films win Oscars, but few enact change.