There is a higher court than the courts of justice
and that is the court of conscience.
It supersedes all other courts.
-- Mahatma Gandhi
Whistleblowers are sturdy souls who in morally corrupt times want to do the right thing and speak the truth. They are ardent believers in civic duty and other ideals and virtues which draw out the best in human beings. They refuse to give in to the rampant and widespread cynicism of our times.
What is needed in these people?
Whistleblowers need large reserves of courage to do battle with large and powerful institutions, organizations, and corporations.
They must be willing to devote incredible amounts of time and energy to finding and wading through information which can be used to exposes the wrong-doings of those who believe that they are above the law.
Most whistleblowers have no qualms about being called "zealots" since there is a deep and gratifying spiritual dimension to their dedication to helping and serving others. But this also means they must not allow themselves to be intimidated by slurs on their character. Enemies have been known call them "nuts and sluts."
They need to be able to turn to partners and friends for moral support and fresh insights into their work; they may not be able to count on their work colleagues.
They demonstrate perseverance in the face of difficulties. The urge to give up and lay the burden down often comes when they are caught in the cross-fire between two sides. They will undergo periods of doubt and dismay as they are hurt by unexpected setbacks.
Whistleblowers model for us activism, character, conscience, courage, and commitment to community.
Here are some films about whistleblowers.
All the President's Men (1976)
A "howdonit" about the investigative journalists who uncovered the Watergate cover-up and eventually undid Richard Nixon's presidency.
The China Syndrome (1979)
A gripping story of two journalists who witness what appears to be an accident at a nuclear power plant and then discover the unwillingness of corporate heads to put public safety above economic considerations.
The Constant Gardener (2005)
A suspenseful thriller that exposes the shadowy parameters of a war against the poor and the powerless that is animated by corporate greed and political amorality.
Dark Waters (2019)
A chronicle of courageous and tenacious investigations by a lawyer into harm caused by unregulated DuPont chemicals.
Erin Brockovich (2000)
The impressive story of a legal clerk who helps a community bring a class action suit against a faceless and formidable conglomerate for poisoning their groundwater.
Fair Game (2010)
A convincing and inspiring political drama about the destructive power of dirty tricks and the spiritual power of moral courage.
The Firm (1993)
A pulse-racing and thought-provoking morality play about an ambitious lawyer who discovers that his firm is engaged in money-laundering activities.
The Informant! (2009)
Another creative and daring addition to Steven Soderberg's impressive collection of adventuresome films; it is based on the true story of the highest-ranking corporate whistleblower in U. S. history.
The Insider (1999)
A gut-wrenching portrait of two stubborn idealists, a corporate whistleblower and an investigative journalist, who decide to stand their ground against those who want to silence them.
Michael Clayton (2007)
A poignant and powerful thriller about corporate malfeasance that reveals what it is like to face life-shattering moments.
North Country (2005)
A compelling drama set in a 1989 Minnesota mining community where the misogyny and chauvinism in the workplace will make your blood boil.
Prince of the City (1981)
A riveting portrait of crime and punishment and all the stops in between.
Radium Girls (2020) The compelling true story of women who fought back when they learned they had been exposed to toxins on the job.
The multi-layered and poignant story of a whistle-blowing hero and the demise of privacy.
The Whistleblower (2010)
A vivid expose of the massive corruption of the international corporation that runs the peacekeeping operation in Bosnia.