I cried through the whole movie

A movie poster for Sound of Freedom where a trafficked boy is reunited with his father.

I’m sure glad I thought to put tissues in my purse before we went to the movies Saturday. I love going to the movie theaters, which pre COVID, we did every weekend. There was a theater a quarter mile from our house and with temperatures well over 110 degrees, a cool, dark theater was the perfect place to hang out in the summertime.

Since COVID, we’ve seen three movies in theaters. Last summer we saw the new “Top Gun.” Last month, “About My Father,” and Saturday, “Sound of Freedom.”

I’m surprised at the weird reviews “Sound of Freedom” is getting from some news outlets like Rolling Stone and Washington Post.

‘Sound Of Freedom’ Is a Superhero Movie for Dads With Brainworms — headline from Rolling Stone

‘Sound of Freedom’ is a box office hit whose star embraces QAnon — headline from Washington Post

The reviews I’ve read like those above, after watching the movie, are so far off base. They state that it’s a right-wing, Q-Anon, religious movie that’s paranoid about child sex trafficking and exaggerates the issue.

First of all, the movie is based on a true story of a former government agent who makes it his mission to rescue trafficked children. He quits his job where he was arresting pedos watching porn online to rescue children. Throughout the movie, you see the horrific truth about child sex trafficking, which is the second largest criminal activity in the world — hence the reason for my tears.

There’s nothing right-wing or “Q” about this movie — unless being against child trafficking is considered “right wing” (sarcasm alert). It makes me wonder if the journalists bothered to see the movie, or did any research about child sex trafficking? The movie brings to light a terrible tragedy that is happening around the world including in the United States.

As I’ve written before, I learned a lot about human trafficking through a charity I joined. It turns out Phoenix is one of the biggest hubs in the nation. Prior to my experience with The Dream Center, I had no clue about human trafficking and that it’s so prevalent.

The Dream Center of Phoenix is a four-year resident facility for victims of human trafficking. They provide a safe home, medical care, optometrists, food, clothing, a garden, mental health treatment and if wanted — a place to worship. Our group provides fundraising and donations of whatever they need from toiletries to clothing for the Dream Center.

Here’s a post I wrote about human trafficking facts from my education through The Dream Center. Two of the facts on that post include that 1% of sex trafficked children are rescued and the number one prospect for child sex trafficking are young boys.

Sound of Freedom is a difficult movie, but a compelling story with great acting. In my opinion, it’s important to get the message out about human trafficking so it can be stopped. The reviews are a reminder to not believe everything you read in the media!

How familiar are you with the crisis of human trafficking around the world and in our country?

On a lighter note, what good movies have you seen lately?

36 thoughts on “I cried through the whole movie

  1. If they ever show that movie here I’ll be sure to watch it. Child trafficking is such a sordid and tragic business and it’s going all over the world. I remember your post that you wrote about these rescue children.

  2. I’ve heard stories that there are “farms” where young girls are kept for the purpose of breeding. Their offspring are then raised for sex in an environment that is “normal” to them because they know of no other way. Could such a horror be true? Dear Lord—I shudder to think.

    • I haven’t heard of that but it could be true. What a nightmare. What I learned through the Dream Center that serves victims is a lot of trafficked girls and boys meet a “friend” online and meet in person. After months of building trust or believing they are in love, they are isolated from their families, manipulated and trafficked. Also, family members may traffic their step children, grandchildren, etc.

  3. The sex trafficking issue is horrible, and lots of people don’t seem to care. On the lighter note, I saw The Lesson which I really enjoyed

  4. That is a hard topic to be approached by fiction and non-fiction writers. I was going to write a blog about that as how some writers can write so easily about killing, murder, etc. I don’t have that desire in me. I prefer the psychological mysteries with the twist but the hard core blood, gore, sex crimes I just have no desire to pursue. Having travelled a lot in my younger days, sometimes I wonder if I didn’t see signs of sex trafficking. It is good to be aware of. Crimes against children hit me hard.

    • It is a tough topic. The movie was done very well and the rescues of children made it bearable to watch. You were cheering when the children were reunited with their dad. Some people can write about those dark topics, but I’m with you. It’s not me.

  5. The human trafficking situation is so bad in AZ. I’ve had two attempted kidnapping (at age 11 and 22, both in “safe” cities), also surely for that terrible purpose, and I would never raise my own children here for that reason. It’s awful that the film is being called “right-wing” because, as you mention, human trafficking is a problem that everyone should be aware of, against, and trying to fix. I’ve heard good things about the film, but I don’t know if I have the stomach for it. It’s on my radar, through.

    • I had no idea about human trafficking at all until a neighbor invited me with her to a meeting where a woman from the Dream House, who was once a victim, was the guest speaker. I was shocked to hear that this area is a hub. I’ve heard the Desert Ridge area is especially bad. The speaker said it’s because of the freeways and quick access to many states, west, east and north. I honestly think that the journalists who wrote weird political reviews never watched the movie. There was nothing political in it. The good points about the movie were the rescues.

    • That may be it. They don’t like the actor. I think Mel Gibson is supporting the movie and coming out with a documentary about human trafficking. There was nothing political about the movie and it wasn’t overly religious either. My only issue with the movie is that human trafficking’s main source isn’t coming from other countries, but from within our own.

  6. Trafficking children is a stark reality in a world that would prefer not to acknowledge its dark side. For the majority of the people it is just imperceivable that humans could be so cruel and heartless and the idea that children are subjected to such an abominable system is difficult to process. The part that is hard for me to understand is the demand for children to engage in sex acts. We need to address the fact that there is a demand and maybe start incarcerating the people who create the demand and fund the process. Thanks for bringing this to our attention. Hugs, C

    • I totally agree. The problem isn’t only coming across our border. It’s within our country. This movie was completed five years ago and sat on a shelf until someone was willing to air it. It doesn’t offer solutions to the problem, but states that people have to be aware of human trafficking before it can be addressed.

  7. I hate that the media is making it a right or left thing, it’s a problem everywhere. It will be a hard movie to watch, but definitely needs to be told. Thanks as well EA for putting focus on what you’ve learned in your local community. That’s the only way to stop it. Getting people involved to break this chain.

    • I believe the whole point of the movie is to bring human trafficking to the attention of the public. I knew nothing about it until being invited to a meeting with a speaker from the Dream Center. For any others, it will be this movie that first learn about child sex trafficking.

  8. My guess is the “news” worthy sources found no story in a movie based on real life human trafficing experieicnes but there would be plenty of click bate if they made this out to be a right-wing conspiracy or a Q-Annon promo film.

  9. Wow – what weird reviews. “Dads with brainworms?” I’m not sure I even know what that means. I admit to not being informed about child sex trafficking. The thought of it makes me a little queasy. How terrible – and I love that you are part of an organization that helps heal. God Bless you, Elizabeth.

    • Thank you, Wynne. After learning through my organization about human trafficking those headlines made me upset. It’s a subject that needs more awareness. To discount the movie as a conspiracy or nuttiness is so sad. At the end of the movie they said there are more people trapped in slavery today than when slavery was legal.

  10. Thanks for sharing, Elizabeth. I hadn’t heard about the movie at all…but the ‘spin’ on it (as others have said) is bizarre. I wish I didn’t know what I know about trafficking. The connections between drug and sex trafficking, violence against women and children is nauseating but we also cannot look away. Cheers to you for leaning in with an advocacy heart and becoming aware and involved.

    • I can’t fathom why anyone would discredit a movie which increases awareness of such a horrific crisis in our nation and the world. It is a difficult subject. You’re right on how all those connections between drugs, violence and sex trafficking are entwined. I thank my neighbor for getting me involved in such a noble project. The think the doctors, psychologists and optometrists donate their time at the Dream Center to help the victims.

  11. Its horrible about sex trafficking, my heart breaks for those poor children and all the victims!! It is angering that the media has tried to turn this into a political, religous thing. Human trafficking is WRONG, period!! But there are people who want to live inside their little bubble and pretend that all is right with the world and no horrors like that exist!
    I want to see the movie as soon as it shows here! Good to hear your review, thanks for your post.

    • It is a horrific tragedy! I saw two news articles this week about teen girls who were trafficked and rescued. One at Camp Pendleton, CA and the other from FL. It’s happening all around us and isn’t political at all! Thanks for your comment.

  12. I thought it was a great movie shining light on a horrific problem. I first heard of Tim Ballard when my son was a sophomore in high school. (7 yrs ago) He was assigned a movie documentary project. We went to the theatre. And there was Tim Ballard explaining the unbelievable child/human trafficking issues in Cali and beyond. It opened up my eyes to a problem that I thought was not ours to worry about. Did you stay after the credits? Hard to believe this film took 5 years to get to the theatre due to others not wanting it to come out. And now only 1/2 the theaters are allowing it. Therefore. I am not surprised at the current medias take.

    • Yes, we stayed through the credits for the message. I’m amazed your son heard of Tim Ballard seven years ago. What a difficult documentary to have as a subject matter in high school, but a worthy one. I find myself noticing news stories everyday from across the country with human trafficking, someone being rescued, or someone missing, or escaping a kidnapping. It’s scary.

  13. I have not seen the film.I just read a story about this movie. The story is a true story. The story of the people he rescued from human trafficking are true stories. I am an independent. I stay away from political groups. I have to wonder though why a true story is ruffling so many feathers in the press. When I reported suspicious activity near a kid’s venue, the police told me human trafficking is in my area.

    • I don’t understand it either. There is human trafficking in our area, too. We live near Phoenix and this past winter we had a major car show, golf tournament and the Super Bowl. The police told us to be on the outlook for suspicious activity. Tens of thousands of men were planning on buying under age sex.

Leave a Reply