The few features with a message that do make it to theaters often have a single individual at their center, like Karen Silkwood or Erin Brockovich, or a pair, like Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances who become the audience's guide through a murky subculture.
Add Kathryn Bolkovac, an American police officer, to that list. She is portrayed by Ms. Weisz in the new film "The Whistleblower," opening Friday. It follows Ms. Bolkovac's real-life assignment as a United Nations peacekeeper in Bosnia in the 1990s, a job that exposed her to a world of international workers complicit in and in many cases fostering the international trade of young women for sex. Ms. Bolkovac's investigation led to her firing.
"There were so many people in the same situation as her," Ms. Weisz said. "They saw what was going on, and they didn't respond in the way that she did."
Her crusade, which was widely covered by the European press after she filed a lawsuit in Britain for wrongful dismissal, drew Ms. Weisz, who in turn hopes to attract audiences in a season when Hollywood's prime concern seems to be the plight of superheroes and young wizards.