By Sr. Rose Pacatte, F.S.P.
As the war in Bosnia was winding down in 1999 and the
country transitioning to peace, the UN had a multinational police force in
place, mostly to observe. These were peacekeepers who came from the national
police forces of various countries. Because the US does not have national
police Kathryn Bolkovak (Rachel Weisz) takes a big salary job for a year as a
UN peacekeeper or observer, but she is actually hired by a US military
corporation (DynCorp is the actual private military company, but is called
another name in the film; DynCorp has billions of dollars in contracts from the
U.S. government, then and now).
Kathy becomes involved in bringing a domestic dispute to
trial and the UN asks her to head up their office for gender and domestic abuse
affairs. When she is called to help a seriously injured young woman she
discovers that the peacekeepers take “these” women to a shelter and consider
them “just prostitutes.”
Then Kathy learns of a bar in the mountains and leads a raid
to rescue several girls. Kathy sees pitiful living conditions, chains and
photos of girls being abused or worse. There are UN personnel in some of the
photos, and one is an American.
As Kathy tries to collect evidence to prosecute offenders
and repatriate these now stateless women, she comes face to face with the
reality of human trafficking for sex.
The perpetrators she identifies are suddenly sent home. She sends an
email to the UN High Command and is dismissed from her job.
Solid supporting roles by Vanessa Redgrave, Monica Bellucci
and David Strathairn.
“The Whistleblower” is not an easy film to watch. Human
trafficking films such as “Trade” (2007)
are very difficult to watch, yet they pull away the shades covering up
human misery that we really do not want to know about. Mira Sorvino starred in the 2005 Lifetime
miniseries on TV, “Human Trafficking” and NBC’s Dateline has done investigative
reporting on children and the sex trade.
But then, what are we to do?
C.A.S.T., the coalition for the abolition of slavery and
trade, sponsored the screening I attended. It is one such group that educates,
advocates for legislation, and provides shelter and immigration services to
women and children who are able to escape from bondage – and we are talking Los
Angeles, CA. Visit www.CASTLA.org for more
information. And for a quietly powerful interview by Charlie Rose with Rachael
Weisz and the real Kathy Bolkovac, go to http://www.charlierose.com/view/interview/11815.
Thank you for your comments. Editors will review all posts before they are visible on the website.
blog comments powered by