Sound of Freedom is an American drama based on the true story of a former federal agent who rescues children from being trafficked in Colombia. Source: Australian Catholics.
In an interview, Tim Ballard, played by Jim Caviezel in the movie, indicated that the screenplay dramatised his activities with some fictionalised touches. However, Ballard did give testimony to the American authorities and was influential in changing legislation about child trafficking. This means that Sound of Freedom, with its harrowing moments, is an earnest film about a contemporary evil.
The film opens in Honduras, a little girl at home, beating a drum. What seems innocent at first, a young talent scout persuading a father that his little girl should come to an audition, along with her little brother. He agrees and delivers them. But, we realise quickly that this is grooming. Children are posed, photos are taken and when the father returns, the location is empty and the children are gone.
Ballard is a family man with a supportive wife and children who, as federal agent, is going undercover as a paedophile to infiltrate the trafficking rings.
It is alarming to see this kind of work. Information leads to rings operating out of Latin America, transporting of children to Tijuana or to Colombia. The drama becomes more personal when a paedophile trafficker is stopped at the US-Mexican border and arrested. The little boy from the initial story is rescued and tells the story of the disappearance of his sister. Ballard is moved by the story and wants to track down the sister.
Ballard wants to resume pursuit of the paedophiles but his bosses are reluctant, so he resigns. What follows is more undercover work and the eventual rescue of around 50 children.
The film had extraordinary box office success in the United States, grossing to date $US178 million. While the film has attracted controversy – many of its most enthusiastic supporters seem to have embraced a number of conspiracy theories – the film should be seen for its standalone drama and themes.
Review by Fr Peter Malone MSC
Sound of Freedom: Starring Jim Caviezel, Mira Sorvino, Bill Camp, Javier Godino, Jose Zuniga, Eduardo Verastegui, Cristal Aparicio, Lucas Avila, Yessica Borroto, Gustavo Sanchez Parra, Gary Basaraba. Directed by Alejandro Monteverde. 130 minutes. Rated M (Themes of child sexual abuse).
Sound of Freedom (Australian Catholics)