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Babes in Bosnia: Hollywood's Take on Sex Trafficking in The Whistleblower

In Canadian director Larysa Kondracki's The Whistleblower, shot in Romania, British babe Rachel Weisz plays a poor Nebraska cop who takes a U.N. job in postwar Bosnia to investigate the sex trafficking of young women, including two Ukrainians, and unearths evidence of multinational peacekeeper complicity in the crimes (and U.S. government support of the whole ugly racket). Geographic diffusion aside, Kondracki's fact-based thriller remains somewhat focused on its grim subject, though its principled bid to allure and enlighten the VOD-surfing masses results in a surplus of Hollywood-style eye candy and narrative formula. No less a looker than Monica Bellucci appears as the bitchy head of the U.N.'s repatriation program, seemingly to offset the arguably admirable characterization of most every male as a sex-crazed creep or worse, while late-reel scenes of suspense involving the heinously victimized Ukrainians fall somewhere along the line between shocking reportage and standard-issue torture porn. Clearly channeling Jodie Foster's distaff avenger in The Silence of the Lambs (but with a healthy hetero appetite thrown in), Weisz's Oscar-campaign-worthy turn does nothing to obscure the movie's half-intended message that, regardless of national borders, where sex is involved, there's money to be made.

 
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5 comments
Jade
Jade

OK, this shockingly tasteless review is symptomatic of how, apparently, many male critics are missing the point of this film. What the EFF does it matter what Weisz LOOKS like in this film--she's playing a U.n. peacekeeper not a beauty queen. Why is this review calling Belucci's character "bitchy"? I'll tell you why: b/c we live in a BS patriarchal world. This guy watches a film abt the basest of female exploitation and THAT is what he writes about...I'm trying hard not to wish vileness on anyone with a penis

bb1010
bb1010

The title of this review and general twist in its narrative is disgusting. If the reviewer is this cynical and detached by a story that has true-life roots then I feel sorry for him. I doubt the women depicted in this film, based on true cases, thought of themselves as babes.

stell
stell

My outrage at this title has made me a little less able to write proper English - what I meant to say that when a male reviewer refers to young women and girls, some as young as 12, being forced into prostitution, as "Babes", then we indeed have huge problem and the movie's characterization of men as "sex-crazed creeps" wasn't too far off the mark.Ah still not quite proper, but you get the gist

stell
stell

I have a problem with a reviewer who refers to a forced prostitutions of girls as young as 12 as "babes". It makes you think if the "admirable characterization of most every male as a sex-crazed creep or worse" wasn't right on target.

Iain_S
Iain_S

Surely he was using the word facetiously and critically in order to make a point about inappropriate casting.

 

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