‘Sound of Freedom’, a successful film addressing child sex trafficking
The film grossed over 100 million dollars in 3 weeks in the US and Canada. Release dates in Europe have not been announced yet.
25 JULY 2023 · 16:50 CET
The thriller Sound of Freedom, based on a true story, has surpassed $100 million in box office revenue only in the United States and Canada, selling over 8.9 million tickets in these two countries since its premier on July 4.
On the second week, it achieved a remarkable box office revenue increase of over 35%, something only accomplished by 10 mass-release films in history, all of them on Christmas.
The film reached over 3,200 cinemas in the US in its third week, and has remained in the top three positions on the charts.
Tim Ballard’s fight against child trafficking
Sound of Freedom tells the story of Tim Ballard, a former US Department of Homeland Security agent who quit his job because he wanted to do more to rescue children from slavery. At the beginning of the film, Ballard has lost hope that he could save the majority of trafficked children after spending 12 years fighting child sex crimes.
However, his life changes when he rescues a 7-year-old boy who asks him to rescue his sister kidnapped by drug dealers. From that moment, he devotes his life to the fight against child trafficking around the world.
Distributed by Angel Studios
Filmed five years ago, Sound of Freedom was once signed with Disney, but the deal was later dropped. Several Hollywood studios also turned down the film, until Angel Studios (the producers of the well-known series The Chosen telling the life of Jesus and his disciples, according to the gospels) got the worldwide distribution rights earlier this year.
“Through this powerful cinematic experience, we aim to amplify the growing movement to expose this heinous violation of human rights and inspire people to take action, helping their communities put an end to this modern-day slavery once and for all”, said Angel Studios CEO Neal Harmon.
Jim Caviezel leads the cast
Jim Caviezel, known for playing Jesus in ‘The Passion of the Christ’, leads the cast as Tim Ballard, and is joined by Oscar winner Mira Sorvino and Emmy nominee Bill Camp.
The film is written and directed by Alejandro Monteverde and produced by Mexican actor Eduardo Verástegui (Unplanned), who also plays in the film.
“These terrible realities should move anyone and awaken the desire to do something to help those children”, pointed out Verástegui.
Despite the success of the film in the US and Canada, the dates of future cinema releases across Europe have not been announced yet.
It is expected that it will also be available on platforms such as Netflix or others.
For César Vidal, a Spanish Christian journalist and author living in Miami (US), “the film is nothing exceptional. The topic is interesting, but it would have been much better with a better director”.
Regarding the controversy that the film has provoked since its release, he points out that “if the critics had bothered to watch it instead of showing sectarianism, the film would have passed almost unnoticed. It has been the absurd attacks that have given it extraordinary and free publicity”. Vidal refers to those who have linked the film to the QAnon conspiracies about paedophilia rings in the United State.
“My fear is that with the field divided between the haters and those who draw conclusions that are not in the film at all, the whole thing will be reduced to a fight in which the issues that are especially relevant to facing this immense tragedy will be totally overlooked”, concluded Vidal in a review published in Spanish on Evangélico Digital.
Child sex trafficking
According to a report by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development released in January, Mexico “ranks first in child sexual abuse; in the exploitation, murder and trafficking of children; and in the creation and distribution of child pornography”.
The United States was identified as the “number one sex consumer worldwide”, which includes child pornography, according to Geoff Rogers, co-founder of the U.S. Institute Against Human Trafficking, quoted in a report by Fox News in 2019.