As someone who works at a movie theater, the Sound of Freedom was not expected to be so popular among fellow Americans. There was only one auditorium in which the movie was shown throughout the day. Despite the small and hot enclosed area, each showing astoundingly sold out. 

The movie, which aired on July 4 2023, skyrocketed to popularity within days of its release. The Sound of Freedom is a film featuring Jim Caveizel playing Tim Ballard, a federal agent who after rescuing a boy from ruthless child traffickers, learns that the boy’s sister is still captive and decides to embark on a dangerous mission to save her. 

So with that being said, there wasn’t much interest in the movie at first. However, the movie’s implications and controversies sparked public interest. 

With a budget of $15 million, the movie aimed for raising awareness and ending child trafficking. Since its release, “Sound of Freedom” has made over $190 million,  largely due to theories and controversies surrounding the film..

The viral Pro-Trump conspiracy theory suggests democratic politicians and celebrities are tied to a secret child-trafficking ring, and portrays Trump as a hero against the evil distinguished figures. 

While others may speculate that the film was directed towards certain individuals, there is no evidence to support it and will remain a baseless theory due to singling out specific groups of individuals.

The new abrupt box office film has caused a fair amount of controversy regarding its misleading portrayal of human trafficking to audiences. 

In the movie, the victims, two children Rocio (Cristal Aparicio) and her brother, Miguel (Lucás Ávila) were both kidnapped by strangers. While this scenario is not impossible it is highly unlikely to occur. 

Polaris project not only states in reality only 10% of trafficking cases involve kidnappings but also mentions 8/10 victims of trafficking already know their attackers. 

By underlining false narratives and throwing out inaccurate stereotypes, we push ourselves to be attentive to things like white vans, failing to notice the actual signs of abuse. Movies like Sound Of Freedom” manipulate us into searching for the wrong warning signs. In doing so, we may miss the vulnerable young person being lured into trafficking by stereotypical offers like meals, gifts, shelter or companionship.

The movie received negative responses as well due to it being tied with a controversial conspiracy theory about a wide-spread human trafficking ring run by Hollywood. The theory comes from a far-right conspiracy group, QAnon, which originated in internet forums in 2017.

 QAnon supporters believe in a secret war between President Donald Trump and a deep state cabal of pedophiles and satan worshiping elites. The controversy only got worse after President Trump added fuel to the accusation by hosting a screening for the movie in his bedminster golf club on July 19, 2023. 

During a discussion with CBS Mornings, director and co-writer Alejandro Monteverde answers a number of questions regarding the movie and the controversy.

 “The motive was so pure it was just to shine a light in this darkness, that in the beginning I was heartbroken,” says Monteverde.

In the interview it is said that it’s important to note that the movie was made before all the conspiracy theories and that child trafficking is a real thing. 

“I knew that the politics in so many ways divide; this is not an issue that belongs to liberals, it’s not an issue that belongs to conservatives. It is a fundamental human right issue,” Monteverde states.

Sound of Freedom narrates the real-life story of the founding of Operation Underground Railroad. Tim Ballard had a path of committing himself to the cause of saving children from sex trafficking across the world.  After Tim Ballard quit his job as a special agent with DHS, he did follow through with a rescue mission in columbia.

Some aspects of the film are true, however, including the rescue operation on the island in Colombia. Giselle and Vampiro are both based on real people, and the children portrayed in the movie were actual survivors of trafficking. In real life a former beauty queen named Miss Cartagena was luring children in by pretending to have a model agency similar to the movie. 

However, there are some under and over exaggerated facts/details, such as Jim Caviezel stating, ¨(they) didn’t rescue 54 kids on that island operation, (they) rescued over 120.¨ Caviezel dressed as a doctor and went into the Colombian jungle to rescue the little boy’s sister in the movie as well as in real life. While the real-life little boy (Gardy) did have a sister, who had been kidnapped, in the end they were unable to find her.

Adding real life details into the movie can make people find the movie more relatable and intriguing, but not adding the full context/details could lead individuals to find the movie inaccurate. 

The main use of movies is to entertain us. But some individuals expect it to be more and try to give it more meaning. While there are other uses for movies such as educational films, there are movies that can be strictly for entertainment purposes. But everyone as an individual can decide how they want to fathom the information. 

After unwrapping and getting deep into Sound of Freedom, viewers can clearly see the great amount of controversy and implications of the movie. Such as the true story and Q-anon theory. In the end everyone is entitled to their own opinions and everyone will view the movie differently. Whether it be positive, negative, neutral.

+ posts
+ posts

Hello, I´m Aiyana. I´m a senior working my first year along side the 42fifty staff here at Oswego High School.



Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.