My husband and I did two different things to celebrate the Fourth of July. The first was to go to a Fourth of July BBQ hosted by a neighbor, something I hadn’t done in about 30 years. The second thing I did was go to a screening of Sound of Freedom. We are passionate about this issue, having been on a Cambodian human trafficking mission. We’ve met people whose lives have been nearly destroyed by human trafficking. We’ve heard their stories, and seen how serious this problem is.
Victims ranged in age from 5 years to early teens or late teens. Years of abuse have left these women and children with emotional and psychological injuries, as well as physical injuries. As I’ve written previously, one child was poisoned. It was done in order to make her disabled so she could beg for money on the street. She spent the rest of her life in a wheelchair, unable to walk or speak.
Sound of Freedom is a captivating story. It has a good balance of action and message. Jim Caviezel is excellent as Tim Ballard. Cavielzel doesn’t look anything like Ballard, who my wife and I only met three minutes years ago at an event. Ballard is not the whole story.
One of the most intriguing characters is Vampiro/Batman. A former cartel member, he is atoning for past sins by saving children from the sex industry. He’s a tough guy, who smokes cigars, drinks booze, and has a foul mouth. He has a lot of good lines and you root for him from the minute he’s introduced.
Here is the movie trailer:
It is chilling to see how a former beauty queen, based on Kelly Johana Suarez (former Miss Cartagena), lures children into slave labor. There are no “redemptive” moments for the traffickers or cartel members. This is because evil cannot be excused for any reason. As the film progresses, you begin to wonder, “What would it take for someone else to cross this wicked line?” How could someone sell their soul?
The film seems to drag at times. It’s hard to tell if this is an accident or a deliberate decision. It’s possible that the longer moments were done deliberately to create some anxiety. In my conversations with people I’ve met, it is clear that rescuing someone who has been trafficked by human traffickers is not an easy or quick task, and results are never guaranteed. Sometimes it can take months to free someone from slavery. Those moments when the film slows reflect the frustration, anxiety, and tension that people who free children from this type of evil feel. Someone should be rewarded for their editing skills if this was done intentionally.
Variety gave the film a fairly decent review, stating in part:
Yet let’s assume that, like me, you’re not a right-wing fundamentalist conspiracy theorist looking for a dark, faith-based suspense film to see over the holiday weekend. (The movie opens July 3.) Even then, you needn’t hold extreme beliefs to experience “Sound of Freedom” as a compelling movie that shines an authentic light on one of the crucial criminal horrors of our time, one that Hollywood has mostly shied away from.
Jezebel’s review wasn’t nearly as kind. Its headline read “‘Sound of Freedom,’ is an anti-child trafficking fantasy fit for QAnon.” In addition, the writer complained that he had not been entertained and was only “bemused.”
Caviezel’s shameless beggaring at the end of his movie shows a desperate need to spread the word. Sound of Freedom’s attempt at illustrating how voguish culture anxiety can be alleviated if people are courageous enough to pursue (or give money) it is made more insidious by the Polish.
Both reviews mention that child sex is a serious problem. It seems that the Left doesn’t like conservatives who say this or do anything about it. Pizzagate allegations aside, Hollywood’s involvement in some very bad things is no longer a secret. After the shock of recent revelations has worn off, the media always moves on to another story.
Ballard was accused of lying about his experiences, and of making them seem more exciting than they are. This reaction is expected of people who don’t want to face the child sex issue, especially when it affects their own businesses or policies. Yes, some parts of the film have been fictionalized.
Operation Underground Railroad is upfront about this and has dedicated a page to it on its website. Caviezel makes a pitch in the end credits, asking viewers to spread the news about the movie and tell them how to “pay forward” by buying tickets for people who might not be able to afford it. You can do this here.
Caviezel did not give me the impression that he “begged” for money. Only the most jaded, morally devoid souls would reach that conclusion. It is more important to spread the message. Not when there are other more self-aggrandizing and socially appealing causes to promote. You’d think that we would all be on the same page regarding this issue. Unfortunately, it seems that the answer is still “no.”
One leaves the theatre with the impression that work remains to be done. What? But what? I watched a video of a group of young men who wanted to travel to Southeast Asia to pick up victims and convince them to stop the business. This plan is noble but could be disastrous for all involved.
Slaves are not employees, but victims of human trafficking. Sometimes they are given a new name and sometimes a number. Their captors may torture them and force them to become addicted to narcotics in order to prevent them from fleeing. They are not allowed to give two weeks’ notice. Human trafficking can be a violent and dangerous activity. Rescue work can be dangerous and delicate.
You can help spread the message. The USA leads the world in child porn consumption and human trafficking. In a nation where pornography and the sexualization of young children are becoming more common, it’s important to expose these evils in all possible venues. On this page, you can donate to Operation Underground Railroad and volunteer. Send them an email if you do not see anything that matches your skill set. They’re sure to find a way that you can help.
In the end, governments don’t change the world as they would like you to believe. People like Tim Ballard, and you can change the world.