Over the past few weeks, you’ve likely heard of the film Sound of Freedom. It’s been highly successful, grossing some 155 million dollars against a budget of 14 million. It’s also been critiqued by some critics as a “right-wing” or “Christian,” when in reality, it is neither.
If you aren’t familiar with the film’s background, it is inspired by the work of Tim Ballard, an anti-human trafficking advocate who, along with his organization Operation Underground Railroad, is credited with rescuing thousands of victims of child trafficking. The film itself is a story of a long journey by Tim Ballard to reunite a father with his two children, a brother and sister, who are unwittingly abducted by a “talent scout”, and sold to pedophiles.
Owing to its subject matter, the film does not spare the viewer from the sheer evil of pedophilia, the agony and fear the victims of human trafficking face, and the immense pain their families face as they try to find justice. Ultimately, the film is about how, while human beings are indeed capable of great evil, they are equally capable in great acts of courage, heroism, and compassion.
Sound of Freedom is not a film that can be reviewed in a normal sense. While at the surface, the film can be exciting, as Tim travels through dense jungles and exotic city streets, pursuing criminals seeking justice, the film is not meant to entertain. Yet, the film has been labeled falsely as a “Christian” or “right-wing” film.
The only indication of any sort of religious sentiment in the film is the phrase “God’s children are not for sale,” which has since become a rallying call of sorts among the audience. The film has no politics, left or right. Its sole advocacy is for child victims of human trafficking, asking of its audience to awaken a sense of moral duty in themselves, to understand and be compassionate towards the suffering of others. The fact that, somehow this has become a political issue is a sad testament to the current polarization in our country.