Sound of Freedom movie raises awareness of child trafficking

When some fellow homeschool moms began chatting about going to see a new movie together, I was totally up for it. I knew that Sound of Freedom was about child trafficking before we reached the movie theatre, but I hadn’t watched any trailers or read any reviews. My friends and I cried our way through the entire movie but agreed Sound of Freedom was more than worth watching. Here’s why I think you should see it too.

Sound of Freedom movie poster shows Jim Caviezel as Tim Ballard, holding a child rescued from sex trafficking.

Sound of Freedom plot synopsis

Tim Ballard (played by Jim Caviezel) is a Homeland Security Agent who works to put pedophiles behind bars. It’s a grueling job, and Tim seems close to burnout as he asks his partner, after catching another pedophile, “How many kids have we rescued?” As a dad of six, the children involved in child trafficking weighs heavily on Tim’s conscience. Then during an arrest, he rescues a young boy and returns him to his father.

When the father tells Tim that his daughter was abducted at the same time as his son, Tim sets out to find Rocio. He heads to Columbia, where he works with local police to try to find the child traffickers there. However, Tim’s plan to rescue Rocio goes outside what his boss at Homeland Security can authorize. Tim quits his job and heads into the Columbian jungle on his own to rescue Rocio.

Why I loved this movie

Sound of Freedom focuses on Tim Ballard, the hero of the story, and his struggle to do a very difficult dad. Caviezel does an excellent job of portraying just how tough Tim’s work is. At several points in the movie, Tim has to pretend to be a pedophile himself to win the trust of the real pedophiles so that he can arrest them and rescue the kids. His disgust as the way the pedophiles talk is apparent, and his concern for the kids also shines through.

Despite the fact that Sound of Freedom addresses a very deep, tough topic, it was a clean movie. I’ve honestly seen numerous Marvel movies with more questionable content in them than this movie about child trafficking. One of Tim’s partners smokes a cigar constantly, and there’s some drinking in the movie. There’s very little language and most violence happens off-screen. We see Tim having to look at the material created by the pedophile, and his tears in response to what he sees, but none of that is shown on screen.

Tim’s actions highlight how every child is worth fighting for. After he rescues more than 50 children from child slavery, Tim’s boss tells him to forget about Rocio. She’s one child who could be anywhere in the world, outside his jurisdiction as an American policeman. She’s one child in a million taken into slavery—and to her father (shown grieving for her throughout the movie), she is one child in a million. Tim sees their faces, sees the faces of each child, and sees them each as unique and precious, deserving of rescue.

I think Sound of Freedom is also a reminder that we as parents must be vigilant. It was very hard to watch Rocio’s dad naively hand his two children over to the “talent scout,” knowing (as movie watchers) that she wasn’t what she seemed to be. His grief when he returns to find his children gone was heartbreaking. We live in a world full of ugliness and while we cannot live in fear, we must also live with our eyes wide open and do our best to protect our children.

Let’s be blunt: Sound of Freedom is a brutal film to watch. But it also might be the most important movie you see this year. Sound of Freedom isn’t a movie you watch for entertainment or escape from the summer heat. It’s movie you buy a ticket to because you’re willing to enter into the ugliness of this societal scourge. It’s a movie you give consent to shock you out of complacency. It’s a movie that can’t help but light the fuse on the question, “What can I do?” ~ Adam Holtz, Plugged In

More about Tim Ballard

Sound of Freedom is based on the real-life story of Tim Ballard. He spent more than a decade working with Homeland Security as a special agent. He’s worked in numerous roles in the fight against child slavery and child trafficking, both in the United States and internationally. In his work, he realized that much more is needed to fight child slavery, and in 2013, he founded Operation Underground Railroad.

Tim and his team work with international governments to carry out rescue operations and support survivors afterwards. To date, his team has arrested more than 4000 predators and rescued over 6000 survivors. They also work with local organizations in the US to fight trafficking and exploitation. Finally, O.U.R. provides aftercare, including surgery, equine therapy, and more to survivors.

For more about O.U.R., drop by their website or follow them on Instagram, Facebook, or YouTube.

Sound of Freedom movie stars Jim Caviezel as Tim Ballard, fighting to rescue two siblings from child trafficking.

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