Before I start I have to state my perspective while still browsing on the recently released DVDs website. When I first saw the plot summary I wasn’t too impressed other than the fact that Rachel Weisz was an Academy Award Nominee/Winner due to this film. After watching…well, that’s what this review is for.
WARNING: May contain spoilers!
The film starts out with Rachel Weisz starring as Kathy Bolkovac. I will go out on a limb here and state that all character names were real life references to the people they represented. Kathy is at the conclusion of a second marriage due to her devotion to her work. She has lost custody to her daughter and is unable to transfer job locations to be closer to her ex-husband and daughter. Director Larysa Kondracki does a very good job moving the plot along so that there is no dead space during the course of the movie. We jump to Kathy receiving an incentive $100,000 job offer to work in Bosnia for 6 months with United Nations International Police.
The next scene throws Kathy into a domestic violence investigation with the local police force. There are signs of racism and hatred deep within the locals, concluding with their refusal to investigate the DV. Kathy perseveres and wins the case in court.
This successful prosecution lands her a job as head of the Gender Affairs Division and gains her a powerful mentor, Madeleine Rees played by Vanessa Redgrave. As she starts her investigation into human trafficking, spurred by graphic photos of UN members fondling nude young girls. This investigation snowballs into something bigger than what Kathy and Madeleine ever imagined. The road ahead is filled with a parallel side story of two friends, realistic depictions of corruption and powerlessness against higher powers, finished with a conclusion of the results of Kathryn Bolkovac’s investigation efforts.
Upon finishing this movie I realized sometimes how futile one individual force can be versus a large, powerful cohesive force. Growing up we were always told, made to believe 100% we can make a difference. This real life event proves us wrong, but not in a negative way. In fact, it provides insight to a world so real and outside of our control we feel just as powerless as Ms. Bolkovac. The Whistleblower inspired in me to be sympathetic to the cause…where as once it was easy to be ignorant of an issue that seemed as distant as space this movie brings it straight home.
Don’t expect a lot of action, however the pace moves fairly well. I highly recommend this for those who are looking to connect with real world issues.
Rachel Weisz with the real Kathryn Bolkovac.