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The Whistleblower

Larysa Kondracki

  • Country: Canada, Germany
  • Year: 2010
  • Language: English
  • Producer: Christina Piovesan, Celine Rattray, Amy Kaufman, Benito Mueller, Wolfgang Mueller
  • Executive Producer: Sergei Bespalov, Nicolas Chartier
  • Screenplay: Eilis Kirwan, Larysa Kondracki
  • Runtime: 100
  • Programmes:

This raw and dizzying political thriller tells the story of a female Nebraska police officer turned peacekeeper who uncovers a disturbing sex-trafficking underworld in Bosnia and its shocking connection to the UN. As Kathryn Bolkovac (Rachel Weisz) feverishly works to expose the scandal, the UN does its utmost to keep her quiet.

WomenCrime & ThrillerEuropeHuman RightsViolence

screening times

    • Monday September 13
    • 2:30:00 PM
    • Friday September 17
    • 6:00:00 PM
    • Tiff Bell LightBox 1

Note: indicates Premium Screening.

official description

In our modern era of total interconnectivity, speaking out against perceived injustices can have extensive personal and professional consequences. Based on true events, this harrowing political thriller recounts the story of Nebraska police officer Kathryn Bolkovac, who discovers a deplorable United Nations cover-up and launches an indomitable fight for justice.

After enduring significant personal setbacks, Kathryn (Academy Award®-winner Rachel Weisz) accepts a well-paying UN peacekeeping job, courtesy of a private military contractor. She arrives in post-war Bosnia expecting a harmonized international effort, but is greeted with disorder and irresponsibility. UN officers behave like immature college students, Bosnian police are uncooperative and there is rampant sexism, both among the local population and in the hallways of the UN. When a brutally injured young woman lands in the UN’s care, Kathryn unearths a terrible underworld of sex trafficking and traces the path of criminality to a shocking source.

Larysa Kondracki’s bold debut takes an unforgiving look at a horrifying contemporary issue. At the centre of her formidable cast (which includes Vanessa Redgrave and Monica Bellucci) is Weisz, who captures the gradations of Bolkovac’s character with aplomb, shifting from naivety to indignation to desperation. Weisz imbues Bolkovac with all the knotty baggage of the character’s past, the details of which are used against her by the enemies she makes along the way.

As Kathryn works feverishly to gather evidence, the UN works harder to stymie her progress and keep her silent. Kondracki holds nothing back, exposing the insidious sexism, double standards and criminal negligence of those ostensibly entrusted to protect the vulnerable. The nightmare of the sex trade industry and the gruesome fates of its victims are depicted without reprieve. Kondracki has achieved a rare feat: a political thriller (famously the domain of male directors) about horrific injustices against women and told through a woman’s uncompromising lens.

Agata Smoluch Del Sorbo

director bio

Larysa Kondracki was born in Toronto and studied English and theatre at McGill University. She received an M.F.A. in film direction from Columbia University and directed the short film Viko (08). The Whistleblower (10) is her feature directorial debut.

full credits

Principal Cast: Rachel Weisz, Vanessa Redgrave, David Strathairn, Monica Bellucci, Nikolaj Lie Kaas
Christina Piovesan, Celine Rattray, Amy Kaufman, Benito Mueller, Wolfgang Mueller
Executive Producer:
Sergei Bespalov, Nicolas Chartier
Kieran McGuigan
Julian Clarke
Mark Gingras
Mychael Danna
Production Designer:
Caroline Foellmer

Canadian Distributor:
 eOne Films  
International Sales Agent:
 Voltage Pictures
Production Company:
Whistleblower Canada Inc./Barry Films
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