This weekend, while scrolling through the every-growing list of free movies available on Amazon.com, I came across a previously unknown Rachel Weisz film, The Whistleblower.
This harrowing drama tells the real-life story of Kathy Bolkovac, a former peacekeeper in post-war Bosnia who investigates and uncovers a far-reaching web of forced prostitution and human trafficking. Kathy (Rachel Weisz), a cop from Nebraska, takes a job working for Democra Security, a private contractor hired by the United Nations International Police to serve as a peacekeeping force in post-war Bosnia. She quickly establishes herself as a woman’s rights crusader after the first conviction in a domestic violence case. She is named the new head of the Department of Gender Affairs and quickly finds herself entangled in the case of a young woman named Raya, who had recently been sold by her uncle to a sex trafficking ring.
As Kathy works tirelessly to uncover all the pieces and identify the key players, she battles against an increasingly powerful international bureaucracy. Her only supporters are her boss Madeleine Rees (played by the ever-graceful Vanessa Redgrave) and Peter Ward (played by David Strathairn), the head of Internal Affairs. Kathy soon discovers that the U.N. officers in Bosnia are not only participating in human trafficking, but covering up their involvement to protect their military and international contracts.
The Whistleblower won the Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature and Best Film at the 2010 Whistler Film Festival, the Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature at the 2011 Palm Springs International Film Festival, and the Golden Space Needle Award for Best Director at the 2011 Seattle International Film Festival.
It is available on DVD, and available for free online streaming to any Amazing Prime subscriber. This is a very heavy film that doesn't pull any punches. There are some pretty graphic scenes showing the true horror that women in war zones experience, and fully illustrating the increased need for international pressure.