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Jessica Bennett, thedailybeast.com / Aug 5, 2011 3:38 AM EDT.
Rachel Weisz plays Kathryn Bolkovac, a United Nations peacekeeping officer, in “The Whistleblower.”, Sophie Giraud / Samuel Goldwyn Films.
In ‘The Whistleblower’ which opens this weekend, Rachel Weisz portrays a U.N. peacekeeper who exposes sex trafficking involving peacekeepers in Bosnia. Jessica Bennett talks with Kathryn Bolkovac, the woman who inspired the film.
They were peacekeepers: sent to Bosnia in the aftermath of the Balkans war, tasked with overseeing the local police force and restoring calm. In blue United Nations uniforms, they arrived from countries all over the world, roaming the hills near Sarajevo and Ilidza, trying to maintain order in a nation battered by civil conflict.
But as we learn in the first minutes of The Whistleblower, which opens in select theaters this weekend and stars Oscar winner Rachel Weisz, many of these men and women were ill-trained and unsupervised.
They landed in a foreign land with no clear mandate, and at times, little understanding of what they were there to accomplish. "No one knew what authority they had," says Kathryn Bolkovac, the Nebraska-cop-turned-U.N.-peacekeeper who inspired the film. "It was ridiculous."
Ultimately, when Bolkovac discovers that the men with "IPTF"—short for INTERNATIONAL POLICE TASK FORCE—stitched across their shoulders are involved in the brutal trafficking of underage girls, the response by a high agency commander in the film is: “Those girls are whores of war. It happens.”
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