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Wed August 24, 2011
Walker's Three to See: <i>The Whistleblower</i>
KCUR Arts Reporter Steve Walker shares his top movie picks of the week.
By Steve Walker
Kansas City, MO – The Whistleblower - Oscar-winner Rachel Weisz (The Constant Gardner) gives a soulful and gritty performance as Kathryn Bolkovac, a Nebraska woman whose work with the United Nations in Bosnia uncovered a rat's nest of sanctioned sex-trafficking. Based on a true story, the film opens with Bolkovac hitting the glass ceiling at the Lincoln, Nebraska police department and, thanks to her boss's recommendation, she lands a high-paying job as a U.N. peacekeeping officer in a country that's still reeling from its brutal religious conflict. Her superior (Vanessa Redgrave) is impressed with her work and promotes her to head up what's called the "gender affairs" office, where she encounters two battered and dispirited young Ukrainian women working at a brothel disguised as a nightclub. She digs deeper into the cars and uncovers a deeply imbedded abyss of corruption that fingers local officials and U.N. colleagues alike. Director Larysa Kondracki gives the film a consistent level of tension and Weisz displays a believable sense of rage as people she thought she trusted not only turn a blind eye to the crimes but participate in them. Like Silkwood and Norma Rae, this film's heart is that of a strong women working among men who mistakenly underestimate her.