The Whistleblower | Chicago Reader

The Whistleblower

Larysa Kondracki's first feature successfully avoids the major pitfalls of the activist docudrama: the main character's heroism never overshadows the larger issue at hand, nor does exposition gum up the storytelling. The film fictionalizes the story of Kathryn Bolkovac, a Nebraska cop who exposed an extensive human-trafficking scandal while working as an independent contractor in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Kondracki relies on sharp, quotidian detail to show how such atrocities become business as usual; she also makes a point of humanizing the victims of trafficking to emphasize the obscenity of the crimes. This bears more than a passing resemblance to Michael Mann's The Insider in its stylistic choices (backlighting, abrupt shifts in focus, jagged editing patterns)—but if you're going to steal, you should steal from the best. With Rachel Weisz, David Strathairn, and Vanessa Redgrave.



  • Larysa Kondracki


  • Rachel Weisz
  • Monica Bellucci
  • Vanessa Redgrave
  • Benedict Cumberbatch
  • David Strathairn
  • Liam Cunningham
  • David Hewlett
  • William Hope


  • Nicolas Chartier
  • Sergei Bespalov
  • Peter Schafer
  • Amy Kaufman
  • Christina Piovesan
  • Celine Rattray

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