How A Film About Child Trafficking Became Politically Incorrect

Though the film isn't political, Sound of Freedom threatens the near-monopoly the left holds on the film industry and culture in general.

Written by Hudson Crozier

What’s happening: The anti-child trafficking film Sound of Freedom almost topped the box office on its July 4 debut, beating the latest installment of the Indiana Jones franchise that day. The film has become controversial due largely to media coverage emphasizing lead actor Jim Caviezel’s connections to the fringe right-wing movement known as QAnon. Angel Studios, the faith-based company behind the film, says it is not meant to promote QAnon or any radical conspiracy theories about pedophile rings.

What it’s really about: Sound of Freedom is based on the true story of former federal agent Tim Ballard, who quits his job to embark on a risky mission in South America to save dozens of children from sex traffickers. The film is a gritty portrayal of the trauma of sex slavery and the inner workings of global trafficking networks. The Washington Post admitted that it “doesn’t depict anything close to QAnon conspiracy fantasies.”

A big problem: While clear data are elusive, there are around 27 million human trafficking victims at any given time, according to the State Department. A 2019 report from the department found that most victims were from the United States, Mexico, or the Philippines. The United Nations estimated that 1 million children were sexually exploited by force in 2016. The U.S. and Europe are considered two of the largest hosts of online child pornography, which is a product of sex slavery.

Between the lines: Some in left-wing media argue that the film creates an exaggerated “moral panic” and distracts from issues such as climate change and police brutality. But crowdfunded tickets and hunger for a fresh story have contributed to the low-budget film’s success and positive ratings. Though it isn't political, Sound of Freedom threatens the left's influence on the film industry and culture in general.

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