1325 Sub-Committee Plan for Release of The Whistleblower


August 5th has been set for the theatrical release of The Whistleblower in U.S. theaters. The Whistleblower is a feature film that graphically depicts the violence surrounding human trafficking in conflict-addled Bosnia, and the inability of the international community to stop it. In the film, WILPF Secretary General Madeleine Rees (who served as the gender expert and Head of Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights in Bosnia and Herzegovina) is played by Vanessa Redgrave and the “whistleblowing” Kathryn Bolkovac, employed by DynCorp to work as a “peacekeeper” in Bosnia, by Rachel Weisz.

WILPF U.S. is using the film’s release as an opportunity to raise awareness about how elevating women’s political voice can help prevent violence against women and armed conflict itself. Working with designers from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, WILPF’s Advancing Human Rights Issue Committee has created educational materials for distribution at theaters where The Whistleblower is showing. These materials will encourage viewers to take action to prevent further abuses and solicit input for the U.S. National Action Plan for implementing Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security.

If you are interested in using showings of the film The Whistleblower to generate civil society participation in the crafting of the US National Action Plan for SCR1325 . . . .

1.     Let project pointperson Sulma Khalid know of your interest today by calling the national office (617-266-0999) or emailing skhalid@wilpf.org.

2.     Identify someone in your community or branch willing to coordinate the action (this could be you).

3.     Provide complete contact information (name, telephone, e-mail and mailing address) for the coordinator to Sulma Khalid and Tanya Henderson in the national office.

4.     Talk to the managers of your local movie theaters about The Whistleblower. Are they currently planning on showing it? If so, please inform the national office of the name/location of the theater and the dates the film is scheduled. If not, encourage them to show it by sending promotional materials and asking that they contact Keith Shapiro (212-367-9435 x20) at Samuel Goldwyn Films who is handling the theatrical distribution of the film.

5.     Prepare for August 5 by reading Kathryn Bolkovac’s book, The Whistleblower. Make certain that the national office knows to whom and by when to send 1325 NAP pamphlets and postcards. The postcards will contain a message to be sent to the U.N. Secretary General and the pamphlets will ask readers to log onto a special facebook page to register their thoughts about the nexus between women, peace and security in domestic and foreign policy. The comments collected will be used in WILPF U.S.’s advocacy with the U.S. Department of State, Department of Defense and U.S. National Security Council.

6.     Using the graphic motif from the handbill or other high  impact visuals, create a large display on which people can write their ideas about what action steps and priorities  should be included in the U.S. NAP for implementing SCR 1325. If you think this will need to be outside, on the sidewalk or such, think about how it can survive inclement weather.

7.     Organize your volunteer roster of pamphleteers. Your goal is to get postcards and pamphlets into the hands of each movie goer (or party of moviegoers) as they leave the theater after watching the movie. Fill the timeslots after the most popular viewing times first, if you can.

8.     Think about how viewers will be feeling and how your (very brief) contact can help them hold and process their feelings. What will you say? What emotion will you project?

9.     After the action: transcribe verbatim the comments written on the display board and send the transcript to the national office.

10.  If your display board looks good or is particularly moving, consider if it would make a useful gift for one of your congressional delegation. Congress will not be asked to vote on the US NAP, but may eventually have to weigh in on related matters, like policy changes or budgetary allocations. This could be a good opportunity to educate your elected officials about the Women, Peace and Security agenda.



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