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(Directed by Ian Hawkins, produced by Kirstie Adamson, cinematography by David Cerqueiro)

Whistleblowers is a documentary about the life-changing personal experiences of blowing the whistle. Whether to blow the whistle is a choice that‘s made in the head but the experience is visceral. There‘s a human narrative of risk, isolation, paranoia and courage in each story.

Whether to blow the whistle is a dilemma anyone could face. We all have a conscience and we all believe in right and wrong, but not many of us decide to speak out. So what is the experience like for those who make a stand?

Whistleblowers introduces individuals who blew the whistle against organisations more powerful than themselves. Each character offers their own unique and dramatic insight into whistleblowing – a phenomenon we‘ve all heard of, but few of us understand.

 

rudolf elmer

From Swiss banker to banking reform campaigner
Rudolf Elmer leaked detailed information about tax evasion and off-shore banking. Elmer‘s information was the first high profile Wikileaks story and Elmer was eventually imprisoned for breaking Swiss banking and secrecy laws. His case continues.

What‘s unique? The backlash to Rudolf‘s actions was a campaign to damage his reputation and destroy his credibility. Private detectives were hired to ‚dig the dirt‘. They were around his home, they monitored his activities and followed his daughter to school. Paranoia is a common whistleblower experience and Rudolf‘s story is a dramatic example.

 

brigitte heinisch

From elderly care nurse to ‘revolutionary’
Brigitte Heinisch blew the whistle on apalling standards of patient care in Vivantes care-homes in Berlin. Brigitte lost her job but sued her employers all the way through the German legal system. The European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg eventually ruled in her favour.

What‘s unique? Not all whistleblowers are high profile government employees. The audience must relate to the characters on screen – as a nurse and a single mum, Brigitte represents the vast majority of whistleblowers. She had an ordinary job, saw serious neglect at work and was determined to do something.

 

guido strack

From EU legal professional to founder of the German Whistleblower Netzwerk 
Guido Strack blew the whistle on contractual mal-administration in the European Commission. His actions had a devastating effect on his career, family and health. Strack‘s ten-year legal struggle continues today.

What‘s unique? Whistleblowers can become trapped in an endless cycle of court cases and hearings. Individuals can find themselves in a Kafka-esque nightmare of legal technicalities and opaque court procedures. Guido‘s life is trapped in this situation: to continue is madness, to give up is to throw the last ten years of struggle away.

 

annie machon

From Mi5 spy to fugitive on the run
Annie Machon blew the whistle on Mi5/Mi6 political surveillance, illegal practices and international assassination plots. She spent two years on the run with partner and Mi5 co-worker David Shayler.

What‘s unique? Although Annie and her partner exposed illegal and unethical activity by British intelligence agencies, they were vilified as traitors and mocked by the media. Their credibility was undermined and their message was lost. Their story is a vital link to the Snowden/Manning traitor debate and offers a previous example to the way whistleblowers can be portrayed in the media.

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