~ Sound of Freedom Movie Review by Montana Grace Author Elizabeth Bradshaw ~
Released in theaters in July 2023, The Sound of Freedom tells the true story of former federal agent Tim Ballard who gets caught up in the world of child trafficking. The film is now streaming on Amazon and other platforms.
Author Elizabeth Bradshaw, who wrote the award-winning novel Montana Grace about human trafficking, graciously agreed to review the movie from her perspective on the topic.
Sound of Freedom Movie Review by Elizabeth Bradshaw
The 2023 hit movie Sound of Freedom is now released on Amazon Prime for home viewing. If you haven’t seen this movie based on the true story of one man’s fight to bring to light the evils of human trafficking, it is worth your time.
The film tells the story of former U.S. Department for Homeland Security agent Tim Ballard (Jim Caviezel) and the actions he took to rescue a young brother and sister from human trafficking in Colombia. It’s the story of a father’s love for his children, the tenderness of siblings, the heartbeat of being human, and it will keep you on the edge of your seat.
*Warning* keep the tissue box handy.
I saw the movie this summer while in the theaters, as did nearly 9 million people, with the film grossing over $100 million for the production company Angel Studios. I went with my 18-year-old daughter, who wept through much of the film. From the sniffles and sobs around me, I gathered that there were many in the viewing room with us.
I, however, did not weep. I might have had a tear or two, but I was shocked at my reaction. I have studied this topic for over a decade. I have written a novel delving into the heart of such darkness. Have I become so jaded that seeing the larger-than-life images moving on the silver screen does not touch this heart of mine?
After months of contemplation, I have realized the unsettled feeling inside my heart. I finally have a voice and can name my feelings. It comes down to this: when you watch Sound of Freedom, you leave the theater feeling like you have done something or taken a stand by supporting the hotly contested Hollywood production. When you post on Facebook about the movie, you feel like you have stood up for someone who can not stand up for themselves. However, I have to ask you this: what have you done for the boys taken from Nebraska to Colorado and forced to participate in a snuff film? What have you done for the ten-year-old shot to death in the making of that film? What have you done for the boys left to be used as sexual objects for the men watching that film they just made?
My answer would be much like yours, I’m afraid: Nothing. Watching Sound of Freedom wastes time if it doesn’t move you to act. You have wasted your time if it doesn’t prompt you to do something. It could be like my friend, Stacia, who makes herself available to the juvenile court system to receive calls at 3 am and help young girls in that system for one reason or another. Or my friend Tiffany, who travels to Cambodia to help the people there be aware of the trafficking in their backyard.
What can you do? You can support either of these women on several fronts. Both can use your financial support to fund the job they accomplish. You can volunteer to mentor young women, so they learn to rescue themselves. You can travel overseas to teach children, lead worship, build buildings, or meet medical/dental needs. Prevention works better but is not as sexy as the action-packed rescue. Teaching young people to choose wisely and giving them hope to live a life other than they currently know is dramatically more effective at changing lives.
Some places you can give your time or financial support based in Nashville include EPIC Girl (https://www.epicgirl.net/take-action1), Freedom’s Promise (https://www.freedomspromise.org/get-involved), or Ancora TN (https://ancoratn.networkforgood.com/projects/213948-2023-year-end-campaign). You can also look into Tim Ballard’s efforts at Operation Underground Railroad (https://ourrescue.org/give-now).
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