SOUND OF FREEDOM is an atypical film, not so much because of its content – though that’s true – but because of the total dichotomy between the triumphant reception it has received from the public and the way it has been treated by the mainstream media, which has either totally ignored it or denigrated it.
Released on July 04, 2023 in the U.S. at the same time as Indiana Jones, this “little film”, which cost $14.5 million and is distributed in only a few theaters, beat all blockbusters to the punch, grossing $15 million on its first day! It’s up to $125 million 20 days later!
Inspired by a true story, that of Tim Ballard, a former U.S. government agent.
In Tegucigalpa, Honduras, Roberto, a poor father of two, is approached by a former beauty queen, Gisselle. She offers to sign modeling contracts for her young children, Miguel and Rocío. Roberto accepts and takes them to the photo shoot. A little later, when he returns to pick up his children, they’re gone. Stolen! It is revealed that the father of the family has been trapped by an international human trafficking network, and his children sold into sexual slavery.
In Calexico, California, Tim Ballard is a special agent with Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), where he arrests people who possess and distribute child pornography. During a rescue mission, he meets up with Miguel, who tells him his story and makes him promise to find his sister Rocio, who is still missing.
Distributed by Angel Sudios and produced by Eduardo Verástegui, the film is based on the work of Tim Ballard, founder of Operation Underground Railroad (O.U.R.), a non-profit organization founded in 2015 to combat human trafficking.
The film is currently only available in the United States and Canada, but given the tidal wave it has caused in cinemas and in the hearts of those who have seen it, we think it will soon be available in other countries. The cast includes Jim Caviezel, Mira Sorvina and others, and was directed by Alejandro Gomez Monteverde.
At HUMANITERRE, we’re not at all concerned by the controversy surrounding this film. It’s a film that sheds light on one of the greatest scourges of humanity, human trafficking, and its most hideous facet, the sexual exploitation of children. How can we mobilize and fight against this horror if we don’t talk about it, if we don’t raise awareness, if we don’t show the unspeakable? We need more films denouncing the horrors that men commit in our societies against the most vulnerable. According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), “levels of impunity are also higher in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. Countries in these regions convict fewer traffickers and detect fewer victims than the rest of the world. At the same time, victims from these regions are identified in more destination countries than victims from other regions.” According to the International Labour Organization (ILO), in 2022, an estimated 6 million people worldwide were in situations of sexual exploitation, and the proportion of women and girls was 5 million.
This traffic must be constantly denounced and brought to light.