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1 Jul 2023


NextImg:'Sound of Freedom' Creates Compelling Call to Action to Confront Child Sex Trafficking

“Sound of Freedom,” in theaters on July 4, is about real-world hero Tim Ballard’s work to rescue children from sex trafficking.

Ballard leads Operation Underground Railroad and, according to the organization’s website, he spent more than a decade working as a special agent assigned to the Homeland Security Department’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.

He worked both in the U.S. and overseas as an undercover operative, infiltrating child sex trafficking rings.

Jim Caviezel, who portrays Ballard in the “Sound of Freedom,” said on the Christian commentary show “Flashpoint” earlier this month that he wanted the role immediately after hearing about the film.

He believes the movie can have a positive impact on culture, much like “The Passion of the Christ,” in which he played Jesus, did in 2004.

In fact in the movie, Caviezel, as Ballard, speaks the words of Jesus as found in the book of Luke, chapter 17: “Better a millstone be hung around your neck and you be cast into the sea than you should ever hurt one of these little ones.”

Asked why he engages in this particular fight, Ballard pronounces, “Because God’s children are not for sale.”

The movie focuses on Ballard’s mission to rescue two particular Honduran children: An 8-year-old boy named Miguel being trafficked into the U.S. and his older sister Rocio, taken to Columbia and ultimately ending up in the hands of a drug lord.

The real Tim Ballard was asked on “Flashpoint” how true-to-life the film is.

“Every bad guy is real. Every kid is real,” he responded.

“Sound of Freedom” producer Eduardo Verástegui also mentioned on “Flashpoint” that during the filming of the movie in Columbia, Ballard and his team — made up of former Navy SEALs — left the set in order to conduct a raid that resulted in the rescue of over 200 children.

Ballard mentioned that during the 10 years Operation Underground Railroad has been in existence, they have rescued over 7,000 women and children, but he added that is a drop in the bucket compared to the problem, because there are millions currently being held in bondage around the world.

His hope is that “Sound of Freedom” will help ignite a movement for change.

Ballard pointed to the impact that the 19th-century novel “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” by Harriet Beecher Stowe had in ending slavery.

When Stowe met President Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War, he reportedly said to her that here’s “the little lady who wrote the book that started this great war.”

“I hope this film can be the second iteration or the modern-day ‘Uncle Tom’s Cabin’ to shine a light on modern-day slavery and wake up the world,” Ballard said.

Ballard said that human trafficking is currently a $152 billion-a-year business around the globe.

He added that the U.S. is the top market for child trafficking. Further, the nation’s current border policies are making it easier by paying for unaccompanied minors apprehended at the border to be transported all over the country.

Ballard, who said he worked on the border for 10 years, argued that officials are not, and probably in many cases cannot, employ the same diligence to confirm that identify of the child, and whether the “sponsor” in the country is truly family or a legitimate guardian.

“If we enforced [our borders], they wouldn’t be incentivized to come,” he said. “Our policies are facilitating and even paying for child trafficking right here at home.”

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Though “Sound of Freedom” deals with disturbing subject matter, it is rated PG-13, so there is no graphic sexual content in the film.

It is a powerful story, well-told, with Ballard and others in law enforcement taking on the bad guys from the U.S.-Mexico border to the streets and jungles of Columbia.

The movie leaves the viewer both better informed and inspired to see change happen.

Learn more and find a theater here.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.