The Sound of Freedom

My thoughts on the new film on child sexual trafficking:

“Over two million children a year are being sucked into the deepest recesses of hell.”

“When God tells you what to do, you cannot hesitate.”

Australian cinemas are now showing this very important movie so I finally just saw it. As many would know, the film sat collecting dust in Hollywood for five years because they were not interested in promoting it (more on that below). But it has finally appeared, and has become one of the most successful independent films of all times, grossing $180 million in its first six weeks.

The film is based on a true story, featuring the life of Tim Ballard (played by Jim Caviezel) who had worked for 12 years with the Department of Homeland Security. Then a decade ago he founded Operation Underground Railroad to liaise with local police in other countries to catch child sex traffickers.

As with most films inspired by real life events, there was some artistic license involved, but the heart of the story is accurate. The script was worked on from 2015, and the film completed in 2018. But the powers that be were not thrilled with it and its message, so it languished for some years.

But with the aid of some crowdfunding and 7000 investors meeting its $5 million goal in two weeks, Angel Studios was able to distribute and market the film. Thankfully it is now out there for all to see. A few brief points can be highlighted about the movie.

-First, thanks to everyone who went to see it. It is not the kind of film we would want to see, but it is the kind of film that we need to see.

-As per the maxim of Burke, evil flourishes when good people do nothing. To fight evil we must first be aware of it – we must know what is going on. This film – in a very powerful way – certainly opens our eyes to the reality and horror of child slavery and sexual trafficking.

-Obviously there are other ways human trafficking occurs than what is depicted in the film, and there are other ways that are used to rescue these people. So this movie covers just one aspect of the overall problem.

The film of course deals with some real hardcore subject matter. Although guaranteed to bring tears to the eyes (how can you see a film like this and not weep for the actual children who are still involved in this sordid evil?), it is still something that adults and older teens can safely see. There are no hardcore graphic scenes (although the topic of the movie is hardcore).

-The film is very well done – well acted, well filmed, well produced. Kudos to all involved in making the film.

-And a three-part concern arises here. One, there will be some folks who just do not want to see a film like this – it seems to be just too yucky. Yes it is yucky because the reality that it portrays is absolutely yucky and disgusting and horrific. But hiding our heads in the sand will not make the problem go away.

-Two, some folks might say there is a lot of hype and paranoia here, and things are not really that bad. And even if things are that bad, these folks prefer to have happy thoughts, only think of positive things, and not focus on the negative. Well, I can assure these folks that things certainly are this bad, with millions of children involved in the slave trade and sexual trafficking. And pretending they can live outside of the real world with their ‘happy thoughts” helps no one, and just allows more children to be stolen, abused, raped and killed.

-Three, some folks might think that this sort of thing will never impact them or their loved ones. But hoping this will not occur in their circles is just wishful thinking and a case of living in dreamland. And it will be too late if one day, God forbid, they find that their five year old daughter or four year old grandson has gone missing – taken by these criminal gangs.

-Indeed, one clear point the film makes is just how very easy it is to snatch a child. It can happen to anyone, anywhere, anytime. So parents need to be much more vigilant, especially with younger children. There are far too many diabolical folks out there who want your children.

-It is a real blessing that the satanic evil of child trafficking is being so powerfully exposed in this film. This is a $150 billion a year industry, and it must be uncovered – and stopped. As executive producer Mel Gibson said about the film: “The fight to end child trafficking is a worldwide movement that requires collective effort and a united front. This is just the beginning. Go see Sound of Freedom.”

Another point worth making: too often people have left the cinemas before the very end of the film. Viewers need to stay and wait until the credits are rolling to see a very important message presented at that point. It helps us to understand how we can be involved in making a stand against this demonic evil.

There are various groups fighting child sexual trafficking of course, but you can visit the site of Tim Ballard for starters:

And please have a watch of this 95 minute interview Jordan Peterson recently had with Tim Ballard and Jim Caviezel:

Dealing with the critics

Of course as with most things, there have been various critics and criticisms of the film. The first group of critics are obvious enough and can be dismissed quickly enough. So many of the secular left mob, including the Hollyweird crowd, are heartily hating on this film. No surprises there. So many are already involved in pimping, prostituting and the pedo culture.

And it is not just folks like Jeffrey Epstein and his lengthy list of clients (which we are STILL waiting to get access to), but other sleazeballs such as Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, Bill Cosby, Rolf Harris, Gary Glitter, Prince Andrew, Bill Clinton, and others. So we do not expect many of our elites – including our political elites and celebs – to speak positively about this film.

Oh, and forget about the QAnon nonsense as well – tell the critics they are dreaming. But it is not just pagan critics who seem to have no probs with the sexual assault of children who dislike the film. I also must mention here some Christian critics who have made various complaints about the film. Let me discuss a few of them.

Some have said we should not watch this film because Catholics and others who are not evangelical Protestants are involved. Sorry, but there is a time and place to pick one’s battles – including theological battles. One of the most demonic evils of our day is being exposed in this important film, yet some critics want us not to see it or have anything to do with it because those involved are not all Protestants!

I have marched arm in arm with Catholics and even non-Christians in pro-life marches and the like. Some things are too important to allow sectarian divisions to stand in the way. It is the same here: we ALL must speak out about this great evil, regardless of our theological stance. As I have so often said before, this is called co-belligerency: being willing to work with others on certain limited activities while temporarily ignoring philosophical or theological differences.

So while I DO have real theological differences with various groups, in THIS context, I do NOT care that Tim Ballard is a Mormon or that Jim Caviezel is a Catholic. More power to them in standing against this satanic evil. Saving children from these monsters is something we all must applaud.

Other persons have actually said the film encourages sexual trafficking and “glorifies pedophilia” so we should avoid it like the plague! Some have told me they were victims of child sexual abuse, and they are sick of people making money by producing films like this.

That seems like a rather bizarre thing to say. One might as well argue that an anti-abortion film glorifies and promotes abortion. One might as well argue that an anti-slavery film glorifies and promotes slavery. One might as well argue that an anti-pornography film glorifies and promotes pornography.

To expose the evils of our world is NOT to promote or glorify them. When Wilberforce told the British Parliamentarians about the details of the horrid slave trade, and even graphically sought to raise awareness of it (eg., by coming into Parliament covered in chains from slave ships), he was NOT promoting nor glorifying slavery! He was trying to wake up a dead and numb world to the gross demonic evils of this trade.

And sure, there might be some sickos out there who might actually get some cheap thrills in watching such a film. Or a few folks might be even enticed by this evil world. But ALL warnings about ALL sins can be abused – that is no reason to stop all warnings.

Advertising showing the harms of smoking cigarettes are meant to deter folks from taking up the habit – or of quitting it. Might such ads entice some folks to TRY smoking? That is possible, but that is no reason to dispense with all such ads. The folks making these kind of criticisms might mean well, but I find their objections to be counter-productive and not very helpful.

The truth is, this film is seeking to wake up a lethargic and slumbering world. It is alerting the masses to the fact that this great evil exists, and it must be fought with all our strength and might. The first step in any work of social action is to inform others and raise their awareness. A film like this very powerfully does so, and it has spurred many on to take action. That is a good thing.

BTW, these sorts of critics really should watch the Jordan Peterson interview I link to above. The three men really make it clear why a film like this is so very vital, and is such an important tool in the fight again child sexual trafficking.

As Tim and Jim rightly say, imagine if films like this were made in the 1930s and 40s about what was happening in Germany. Might a graphic film on these realities have helped more folks to wake up and resist the Nazi monsters? It could well be. And it is hoped that a film like this will also raise awareness, motivate people to pray and act, hopefully resulting in a real blow to this evil sexual trafficking industry.

One last criticism to deal with. There are those who dismiss the thought of going to see it, saying they will wait till it comes out in another format. But in this case that really misses a vital point. By buying your tickets and seeing the film at theatres, you are sending a clear and much needed message. It will let the cinemas know that we want these kinds of films, instead of the usual trash on offer. And it even tells Hollywood that we are sick of their regular crapola, and we want films that will make a difference in this sordid world.

So please go see the film! And enough of the lame and often senseless criticisms already!

God’s children are not for sale.”

[1920 words]

24 Replies to “The Sound of Freedom”

  1. My wife and I saw this film the day it was released here in Australia. Despite the horrors contained within, it is well worth watching. That people would attack or downplay the movie because of the religious beliefs (or lack thereof) of the actors is incredibly short-sighted, simplistic, and selfish.

    Why anyone would be against exposing and destroying the vile and disgusting world of human trafficking, especially that of children, defies me… unless those people have some skeletons they’d rather keep hidden.

  2. Thanks Bill. Did not know Tim is a Mormon, but he is still a hero and together with all people who abhor this vile criminal activity, a heavy goal, stand together to fight it putting aside the lighter differences, which can be sorted later over latte sipping.

  3. Thanks – I was hoping you would cover this film. I saw it last week. Totally agree with everything you said too. All I would add is…
    1. Make sure you book your seat because this can inspire the theatre to add more sessions (which is exactly what happened in Penrith)
    2. There would be some people who have been sexually abused (and not fully healed yet) that probably can’t watch it, due only to the implied subject matter. It was cleverly and tastefully put together though, yet plenty of action and suspense.
    I was advised to sit through the credits, but I was not wanting to jump up and rush away after such a sobering and inspiring movie anyway. Stunned into reality might be one way to say it.

  4. I went and saw it last Friday. It was a great movie and it was very well made. It was also dark and disturbing and upsetting to watch. It’s horrible to think of the horrible things that are being done to millions of children all over the world. It was also shocking to see in the movie the footage of real abductions of children occuring in one or more Latin American countries. Child abuse is the greatest evil and Jesus said that anyone that hurts children it would be better that a milstone were hung around their neck and they were cast into the depths of the sea.

  5. Bill – brilliant synopsis as per usual.
    Sobering film but story needs to shouted far and wide.

    Took a Christian friend, who had NO idea of this evil – primarily due to the sheltering of her husband who was so horrifically, sexually abused by his father.
    However, those I know, who have forgiven their perpetrators go on to lead an AMAZING faith-filled life.
    So I really appreciate Tim’s comment – we do have to be wise as to who could view this…

    My older friend, was such a delight to take – she was jumping out of her seat in excitement and shouting encouragement to ALL in the final scene.

    Such Joy amidst such horror….

  6. I would go if I could but my bad migraines with accompanying eye pain, triggered by certain light and loud noise, make that impossible. I pray for the children of the world at night. Prayer is my best weapon and my only one other than typing. Sometimes I feel like a page where all the knights and squires with the real swords, knives and armor are out doing battle against evil forces and I’m stuck at the castle with a wooden sword and a wooden knife (no armor/paper armor) and yet I have to battle the same evil forces. I have to get off now a migraine is building up.

  7. Thanks Bill for highlighting this film. I first became aware of SOUND OF FREEDOM some months ago when it was being talked about on Catholic apologist and Aussie ex pat Matt Fradd’s PINTS WITH AQUINAS program. Here is a brief clip from an interview Fradd had with Jim Cavaziel. People have to be subscribers of FRADD’S LOCALS platform to get the interview.

  8. Sorry some of this is just baseless hysteria. The chances of your child being abducted by a stranger is extremely remote. They are much more likely to be abducted by a member of their family or killed or maimed in a car accident on the way to the park. I havent seen the film yet but im already suspicious its painting a false and overly simplistic narrative on child abduction and sexual exploitation

  9. Thanks Damien. I believe the old maxim about ignoring critics who have not read the book or seen the film that they attack is valid, so I will run with that wisdom here. But two quick points:

    -Had you actually bothered to read this piece carefully, you would have seen that I said this: “Obviously there are other ways human trafficking occurs than what is depicted in the film, and there are other ways that are used to rescue these people. So this movie covers just one aspect of the overall problem.”

    -If one day you find that your son or daughter has been snatched away and pushed into this horrific trade, you will stop complaining about “baseless hysteria”. And you will not give a rip if it was done by Uncle Fred or a complete stranger. Instead, you will do all you can to rescue your child, and then alert others to the reality of child trafficking.

  10. I will mention a couple things Damien, some kids run away from home and are kidnapped and put into the human trafficking trade. Some are sent by parents to America with coyotes who not only rape them but can sell them off to human traffickers. Who are the parents going to complain to??? In third world countries it is more likely to be kidnapped by a NON-relative. And with SO MANY Latin American gangs operating in the US it is not at all inconceivable that your child could be kidnapped by a non relative.

    While yes you are more likely to be kidnapped by someone you know, family or friend of the family, the risk of stranger kidnapping IS real and can’t be dismissed. And remember it isn’t JUST family in the non stranger camp but anyone the child knows this could be a friend of the family or someone who has befriended them. For many kids it doesn’t take too many inter actions to become friends with someone. And they even have to ask the kid to come with them the could ask the kid “hey on your way home can you look around people’s yards, front side & back, for my dog he seems to have run off.” Then they could have someone in a backyard of a house with no one home and grab him. The “friend” then drives up and picks up both of them and hightails it out of there.

  11. Thank goodness this is just hysteria! Those two million children that are captive to this $150b industry will be very relieved to hear this.

    It’s OK guys! Relax, go home! Nothing to see here.

  12. Dear Bill,

    Thank you for the review of the film and the background to the delay in it reaching cinemas. I went to see it last Monday. Glad to say that the cinema was packed solid with Catholic Christians, Latin Mass goers I might add. Naturally they would be glad that famous Catholics were involved in its production but it shouldn’t really matter what the religion is of those who were involved in making or acting in it. Should it really matter that Jim Ballard is a Mormon or that Mel Gibson is a Catholic? For those that think it matters they are indulging in petty nonsense. What really matter is that child slavery on such a massive scale was brilliantly exposed for the gross evil that it really is and the billions of dollars it rakes in. The film was well made, well acted and explicit without being too graphic. All that was needed was a bit of imagination but many people these days find that hard they are so used to having everything done for them. The real life scenes of children being kidnapped off the street should make every parents blood curdle. Everyone should see it particularly our leaders but as was to be expected the silence of the MSM was deafening.

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