It was the depths of COVID.

For some reason, my wife, Katie, and I had been invited to a private showing of a new movie.

For the record, we both love good movies, but we are not in any “Hollywood clique,” so we were as surprised to receive such an invitation as anyone else would be. Especially so because we were sat next to the star of the film, Jim Caviezel, for the whole duration of the screening.

Jim should be familiar to any Christian moviegoer, given that his portrayal of our Savior in Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ, was remarkable. This directorial and acting tour de force is unlike any other telling of the Greatest Story.

As a child, I was shaped by Franco Zeffirelli’s 6 hour long Jesus of Nazareth which would be rebroadcast on British TV at Easter time each year. Calviezel’s portrayal of Jesus is very different than that of the unblinking Robert Powell’s, starting with the fact that in Gibson’s version, Jesus and all his apostles speak in Aramaic, the correct language for the time and place of the Crucifixion story.

Secondly, The Passion of the Christ is the most horrifically accurate portrayal of the torture endured by the Messiah during his scourging and subsequent judicial murder by the Roman state.

Despite the historically accurate depiction of the horrific violence portrayed on screen, even the late, lapsed-Catholic Roger Ebert expressed his respect for Mel Gibson’s film. Caviezel’s new project was also horrific, in another way.

A Labor of Love

The film we had been invited to watch was also based on a true story, an appalling one, and a contemporary one.

Today, it is estimated that there are more slaves in the world than at the height of the Civil War that ended slavery in America. Up to three times more, a staggering 50 million humans are enslaved around the world today.

Today it isn’t black Africans kidnapped from their homelands to work on cotton plantations far away. It is men, woman, and children of all colors from all over the globe, very often enslaved to satisfy the sexual desires of the utterly depraved. Sound of Freedom is the story of one man’s mission to save the children so enslaved. And it is a true story.

Tim Ballard worked for the CIA before he became an agent for the Department of Homeland Security focusing on stopping the next 9/11 when he was suddenly transferred to working on tracking the cartels smuggling humans – including children – across our border with Mexico.

First frustrated that he wasn’t tracking Al Qaeda terrorists, Ballard would soon realize that his new mission was of even greater import. A married man, with small children his immersion into the world of child exploitation and the prostitution of minors would change his life forever.

Ballard left the government not long after the events portrayed in the film to establish Operation Underground Railroad, a private venture dedicated to locating and liberating trafficked children, children who, as a “commodity,” are far more lucrative than either drugs or guns, since, as Caviezel, who portrays Ballard in the movie, chillingly states, a bag of coke or a gun can only be sold once, but a child can be sold 10 times a day, for years and years.

Sound of Freedom tells the true tale of a little boy, Teddy, kidnapped and then rescued by Ballard who then asks him to save his sister from the sex-traffickers who still have her. What ensues is the story of how Ballard, without the sanction or support of the US government, inserts himself as a “client” into the world of modern child-slavery, locates the young girl and liberates her and her fellow prisoners from a Colombian “pleasure island.” Sound of Freedom, condenses Operation Triple Take into one operation. In reality Ballard’s mission resulted in 3 raids that freed 123 trafficking victims, 55 of whom were minors.

This is an incredible TRUE story. And a beautifully made movie. For my new review with my friend and superb critic Chris Kohls, please go here.

Sound of Freedom is a very important film, for as author Pearl Buck once wrote: “The test of a civilization is the way that it cares for its helpless members.”

America, and Western civilization, must be judged by how we collectively treat the most vulnerable in our society, including the elderly, the unborn and children. In one of the most powerful moments of the film, just as he is ready to arrest the pedophile trafficker who is about to sell little Teddy to undercover agent Ballard, Ballard quotes our Messiah’s words: “But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.”) Yet peculiarly not everyone agrees with the message of the movie.

Who Hates the Sound of Freedom

Sound of Freedom has been a phenomenal success since it was released July 4th weekend. A small budget movie about a very difficult subject has already amassed more than $80 million, and even beat the new Indiana Jones movie the weekend it came out. Yet strangely the media Establishment hates Caviezel’s latest success. All the major critics have boycotted reviewing it. And the likes of, Rolling Stone, the Washington Post, and The Guardian have all actually gone out of their way to attack the film. Why?

Why would anyone denigrate a well-made film telling a shocking true story about child-trafficking that illuminates a truly global issue? Well let’s go back to that private screening outside DC in the depths of COVID.

Why were we there, and why did it take until this July 4th this year for Sound of Freedom to be released if Katie and I saw it more than 2 years ago? The fact is, after the screening, Jim Caviezel and the makers of the film told us the story of what had happened to their labor of love.

The movie had been made for 20th Century Fox and was ready for release when we saw it years ago. Then Disney bought Fox and refused to distribute the film. So it sat in limbo for years, until the Angel Studios, the incredible God-fearing team behind the TV show The Chosen, came forward to crowd-fund its distribution and make Sound of Freedom the amazing success story it has become. For the backstory see my interview with Jordan Harmon, Angel Studios co-founder.

It’s a war

If you ever wondered whether or not we are in a culture war, wonder no more. When global platforms invest and distribute shows such as Cuties, which fein innocence but celebrate the sexualization of minors, when the Establishment – from the top of the Biden Administration to the 3rd biggest brewer in the world – push transgender ideology, to Disney workers themselves protesting laws designed to protect minors, it all becomes transparent. But their time has come.

From the explosion of new organizations such as Moms for Liberty, predicated on parental rights and the defense of the innocent, to even new gay groups fighting against the sexualization of minors, to both UFC’s Dana White and President Trump buying tickets for employees to see Sound of Freedom and holding private showings with the stars, America is waking up. Will you be part of this new awakening, and stand up for the most vulnerable in our world? Start by finding a theater near you to see this crucial work.

Then spread the word.

Read the original at Dr. G’s Substack