With ‘Passion of the Christ’ star Jim Caviezel in the lead role, Alejandro Monteverde’s new film ‘Sound of Freedom’ based on child sex trafficking and the evils thereof, has broken all records in the U.S. by nabbing a whopping $14 million on its first day of release on July 4. Defying all expectations, the movie had already sold two million tickets before it even made it to theatres.
With a limp budget of $15 million, ‘Sound of Freedom’ has done more business on its first day than ‘Indiana Jones and Dial of Destiny,’ which cost around $329 million. Chronicling the real-life mission of Tim Ballard, an ex-CIA agent who dedicated his entire life to rescuing children from sex traffickers, producers Angel Studios have promised to make the movie available to international audiences.
Angel Studios, which has also produced ‘The Chosen’ and other movies catered to faith-based audiences, describes Sound of Freedom as “a story of the fight for freedom and hope, even in the darkest of places.” For Jim Caviezel, the problem is personal.
He told Fox’s Lighthouse Faith podcast on July 3, “I was thinking about my children while shooting for the movie. My wife and I adopted three from China. And I was well aware … of the problems and dangers that children face globally.” Caviezel said that he worked closely with Tim Ballard to learn the ins and outs of how agents go after traffickers. Ballard shared how an encounter with a boy became a life-altering event for him.
As part of their crowdfunding policy, Angel Studios plans to reward contributors with a 120% return on their investment, following a similar approach used for “His Only Son.” Actor Mel Gibson urged people to go and see the film saying, “The most disturbing problem in our world today is human trafficking and particularly the trafficking of children. Now, the first step in eradicating this crime is awareness. Go see Sound of Freedom.”
The release of ‘Sound of Freedom’ on July 4, the day America celebrates its independence, can only be considered metaphorical. The film is a reminder that freedom can only be attained through hard work, dedication, and perseverance. America won it through a bloody Revolutionary War. A Civil War would free millions of enslaved African Americans less than a century later.
However, sex trafficking is a harrowing truth in today’s world, with tens of thousands of children getting caught in the web of sex slavery. It’s a $150 billion industry worldwide. According to the FBI, 52% of all juvenile arrests for commercial sex acts are African-American children. Looking internationally, 76% of refugees surveyed in the Mediterranean indicate they had been trafficked or exploited.
Caviezel told Fox that “300,000 children under the age of 18 were lured into the sex trafficking business in the United States. We are the biggest consumers of child trafficking and pornography in the world. The United States is the home of the free, land of the brave. This is ridiculous.”
The man who portrayed Jesus on the silver screen said this movie must have some redemptive quality, like all the movies he chooses to work on. “Schindler’s List was a very powerful weapon, but it came fifty years too late,” he said, adding, “This film is now, this is exposing it now,”