Several days before July 4th we were invited by dear neighbors to attend a showing of the movie, The Sound of Freedom, with them on our nation’s birthday. It is not a movie I considered attending had Suzanne not extended the offer. I avoid TV shows and movies with violent topics in order to save my peace of mind. It is not that I am unaware of the terrible scourge of human trafficking, it’s that I feel helpless to do anything so prefer to bury my head in my pillow and dream sweet dreams. This movie gave me hope and a way to help. It is well done with no gratuitous scenes that make you turn your head away.
I did not know that the movie is the true story of an American hero. It is a genuine heart-thumping thriller, the story of a necklace that connects two children with their rescuer. I am so very glad I went and extremely happy to tell everyone I meet to see the movie. It is an amazing story and one that should be shouted from the mountaintops.
The movie was written and directed by Alejandro Monteverde. I read that it surpassed Indiana Jones on July 4th at the box office, with $14.2 million for Freedom vs $11.6 million for Indie. It was an uphill battle to get the movie made and distributed. It was dropped by 20th Century Fox and Disney Studios and finally taken up by Angel Studios. It took more than ten years to get the movie to the public. It has been virtually ignored by the press and main media outlets.
Quote from Jim Caviezel who portrays Tim Ballard in The Sound of Freedom.
“I want this to be so huge that they’re forced to look at this. I lost my agents over this. Yep, 17 years, 15 years. I lost my lawyer over this, and now I understand why all these actors didn’t want to do the movie because of this. Listen, you do Schindler’s List fifty years later, you’re a hero. Try doing Schindler’s List when the real Nazis are right there. Understand how that becomes more dangerous? I don’t understand why people are willing to let children be hurt, but in this time, Hollywood says, ‘No, no, let’s kick that down fifty years from now and then [see where we’re at]. That’s crap.”
The Nitty Gritty. There are 40.3 million trafficked persons globally today and 25% of them are children. * Sources: Child Liberation Foundation, International Labour Organization. Every year approximately 350,000 children are reported missing and an estimated 100,000 of them are being trafficked; reported in all 50 states. *Source: National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. According to the 2021 Human Trafficking Report, 57% of human trafficked victims are minors. The U.S. is one of the top destinations for human trafficking and among the largest consumers of child sexploitation. Human trafficking is a $150 billion-per-year business, more than the NFL, NBA, MLB, and NHL combined. It has overwhelmed the illegal arms trade. The U.S. current border situation makes it even easier for children to be trafficked. God’s children are NOT for sale.
Tim Ballard initially worked for the CIA for a year, then for twelve years as a special agent working at the border for the newly formed Department of Homeland Security. At one point he quit his job in order to complete his mission to save children. Without giving away the beautiful, tearful ending to the movie, I just want to say Tim Ballard is an American hero. At the time the movie was made, Tim and his wife Katherine were the parents of six children. Now they have nine, two of whom were adopted after Tim helped in their rescue. He and his wife founded an organization called O.U.R. – Operation Underground Railroad, a non-profit organization to search out and rescue children who are victims of this vicious global business that turns innocent children into commodities. If you go to their website, linked below, it tells how you can help. Stay until the very end of the movie to see photos of the real heroes and to download a QR code to participate in “pay-it-forward”, an opportunity to pay for someone who cannot afford to go to the movie. This movie needs to be seen by as many people as possible. It is a cautionary tale for parents and children. Not all their stories have happy endings as this one does (spoiler alert).