The Whistleblower

The United Nations New York headquarters has decided to organize a public screening of the controversial film The Whistleblower which doesn’t exactly make the UN look good.  The film, starring Rachel Weisz and Vanessa Redgrave, is a political thriller about sex trafficking in Bosnia involving UN peacekeepers.

First-time director Larysa Kondracki based the film on the true story of Kathryn Bolkovac, as US cop who takes a job with a private contracting firm in postwar Bosnia, only to uncover a sex trafficking operation.

A statement from the UN Public Affairs Office said “the movie provides an opportunity for the UN to address these issues head-on by acknowledging lapses, and by pointing to what has been done to address them, both as it relates to international efforts against sex-trafficking and internal measures in the UN to tighten controls and accountability."   

Deputy Press spokesman, Farhar Haq said that in the decade since the events depicted in the film took place, the UN has put human trafficking and violence against women high on its agenda and has instituted important systems to handle misconduct in peacekeeping operations and to protect whistleblowers.

“The UN believes human trafficking an extremely crucial matter and that more must b done and a number of our offices are already doing more. We also appreciate the effort of this film director to bring this matter to the public,” he said, adding that it has not yet been decided if there will be a panel discussion following the film’s showing.

The Whistleblower premiered at the Human Rights Watch Film Festival in New York City in June and opens in other cities in North America on August 12.

The Global Journal has scheduled a screening of the film in Geneva on October 1st.


The July/August issue of the Global Journal features interviews with film director Kathryn Bolkovac and human rights lawyer Madeleine Rees as well as a review of the film.