The 2023 summer movie season has been surprisingly good for independent films that have struggled to find distribution. One surprise hit is Sound of Freedom, a gripping fact-based thriller that stars Jim Caviezel as a former Homeland Security agent turned anti-child trafficking crusader.
Despite some of the whiff of white savior-ism, this is an important film worth seeing. It shines a light on an underreported global crisis.
Directed by Alejandro Monteverde
There’s a lot of noise around the true-life Colombian child sex trafficking film Sound of Freedom. It’s a cause celebre of QAnon conspiracy junkies; a box-office smash dogged by rumors of numbers fiddling, and a platform for star Jim Caviezel’s messianic tendencies.
But if you can get past all that, Sound of Freedom is a sobering look at the world’s fastest growing international crime network. Its clear-eyed perspective shines a light on an issue we all should care about.
Although financed by evangelical Christian distributor Angel Studios, it’s not for the faint of heart. It’s a bleak and brutal film, with some scenes so harrowing that it feels like watching a documentary about child abuse rather than a movie. And it’s anchored by a compelling performance from Caviezel, who brings a formidable gravitas to the role of Ballard, who risks everything to rescue children from the darkest corners of the world. Despite some creative liberties, Monteverde’s direction is steady and unflinching.
Starring Jim Caviezel
Sound of Freedom is a muddled, choppy mess. Despite being made years before the infamous Pizzagate hoax, it plugs into the QAnon worldview of a global child-sex trafficking conspiracy, promoting the idea that pedophiles lurk around every corner and that only good people can stop them. It’s a shame that this movie, starring the devout Jim Caviezel, has become associated with these kinds of dangerous myths.
Nonetheless, the film does have its merits. Caviezel gives a committed performance as Ballard. The actor is no stranger to challenging roles, having starred in Passion of the Christ and the upcoming John Paul II biopic. This film reflects a real issue that must be addressed. Families can use this movie as a springboard for discussion about the issue of human trafficking. How accurate is the movie’s representation of events and characters? The studio has admitted to taking creative liberties. Can you explain why the filmmakers might do this?
Adapted from the book by Tim Ballard
Sound of Freedom is a riveting true story about a man’s pursuit of justice and the horrors of child sex trafficking. Although this film has stirred up some controversy due to its promotion and possible links to QAnon, it is a worthy film with a powerful message that needs to be heard by all.
Despite some Hollywood fabrications (Ballard’s role as a superhero, church bell gongs when he beats a bad guy to death), the movie delivers a clear-eyed perspective on an important issue that most people are unaware of. It is also a great showcase for devout Catholic Jim Caviezel, who gives a committed performance as Ballard.
Moreover, the lookmovie film is an excellent thriller that has a lot of suspense and drama and it does a great job of telling a compelling story about a man’s fight against child sex trafficking. Caviezel’s eyes convey both the sorrow of this messed up world and his single-minded determination to save these children.
Sound of Freedom is a well-made film with top tier acting and excellent dialogue, exciting and interesting subject matter and reality to boot. The film is about the real life work of anti-sex trafficking activist Tim Ballard, played by Jim Caviezel. He is the founder of Operation Underground Railroad and leads a crusade to rescue children from the sex trafficking ring.
The movie is a surprisingly successful box office sensation, outcrossing even the mega blockbuster Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny. However, the film isn’t without controversy. It has been branded a QAnon movie, plugging into the wing-nut conspiracy theory that the American left is conspiring to sell children into sex slavery.
It’s easy to understand why the movie would appeal to a certain audience. It echoes the moral panic that has been whipped up by right-wing media over a grossly exaggerated epidemic of child sex trafficking, funneling people down QAnon rabbit holes and 4Chan conspiratorial forums.