Arguably no issue is less partisan, and more likely to unite people of every political stripe, even in our current state of hyper-polarization, than child trafficking. How could opposition to the cruel kidnapping of children and their forced recruitment into the international sex trade fail to draw unified support from all corners? And yet when a movie comes along that dares to address this uncomfortable topic, this horrific evil, head-on – a movie aimed not only at raising awareness but at inspiring action – the Left curiously rallies to undermine it with partisan smears and ugly innuendo.
Angel Studios’ Sound of Freedom opened last week, a thriller based on the captivating true story of Tim Ballard, a Homeland Security Special Agent frustrated by the lack of effective rescue strategies and prosecutorial authority to help trafficked children in underdeveloped nations. Ballard decided to circumvent the law enforcement bureaucracy to find a more direct, if dangerous, way to undertake the rescue of missing children. In 2013 he founded Operation Underground Railroad (OUR), a U.S.-based nonprofit dedicated to saving children from sex trafficking and sexual exploitation. The organization reportedly has undertaken more than a dozen sting operations. Actor Jim Caveziel brings his passionate intensity to the portrayal of Ballard in the film.
Caveziel, you will remember, is best-known for his astonishing turn as Jesus Christ in the Mel Gibson-directed blockbuster The Passion of the Christ, the movie that opened the eyes of many Hollywood executives who didn’t believe or care that there was a massive audience out there in flyover America hungry for entertainment fare that didn’t trash their faith. Caveziel, openly Christian and conservative in an industry dominated by secular elites, calls Sound of Freedom the most important movie he’s done since Passion.
Now the low-budget film that had been shelved for nearly five years and nearly never saw the light of day has been resurrected and achieved stunning popular success on the Rotten Tomatoes entertainment review site (with a 99% Audience Score) and at the box office.
Just how well is Sound of Freedom doing? John Nolte at Breitbart News writes that “At the close of business Sunday, after only six days in theaters, Sound of Freedom has grossed $40.2 million. Also, over the weekend, it averaged $6,388 per screen, which topped [the latest installment of the Indiana Jones franchise] Dial of Destiny’s per-screen average of $5,760”:
Dial of Destiny might have come in second place with a weekend’s gross box office haul of $26.5 million, and Sound of Freedom might have come in third place with $18.2 million, but Sound of Freedom is doing a better job of packing them in.
Also, Unlike Disney’s Dial of Destiny, which is on track to lose tens if not hundreds of millions, Sound of Freedom is already profitable. Budgeted at just $14.5 million, Sound of Freedom started making millions the moment it crossed $25 to $30 million. And it’s just getting started. With an A+ Cinemascore and the corporate media’s desperate and insulting attacks, word of mouth is all set up to be phenomenal.
So now the Left, which panics when conservatives make inroads into the culture owned by the Left, has determined that Sound of Freedom must be sabotaged with high-profile articles smearing it as linked to the darkest corners of right-wing conspiracy-mongering.
The Washington Post, for example, undermined the movie right in the headline: “‘Sound of Freedom’ is a box office hit whose star embraces QAnon.”
Similarly, the far-Left Guardian put the conspiracy theory smear right up front, calling the “paranoid” movie “the QAnon-adjacent thriller seducing America.” The Guardian writer downplays the film’s success and sniffs about it benefiting from an “unsavory network of astroturfed boosterism among the far-right fringe, a constellation of paranoids now attempting to spin a cause célèbre out of a movie with vaguely simpatico leanings.”
The unhinged harpies at the feminist website Jezebel too, coincidentally, have written off the film as “an Anti-Child Trafficking Fantasy Fit for QAnon.”
What is QAnon? Good question. I’ve heard of it, but neither I nor any conservative I know could tell you anything about it, except that it is a favorite right-wing boogeyman of the Left. According to Wikipedia (which like every other Big Tech site is carefully curated and patroled by leftist activists, with whom I have personally wrestled when trying to correct misinformation on the site), “QAnon conspiracy theory is that a cabal of Satanic, cannibalistic child molesters are operating a global child sex trafficking ring which conspired against former U.S. President Donald Trump during his term in office.”
So now you know. I don’t know about the cannibalism or the Trump parts, but the part about global child sex trafficking is not conspiracy theory but demonstrable fact and taken very seriously by law enforcement and human rights agencies from the FBI to the United Nations and all points in-between.
Anyway, Rolling Stone piled on with a sneering hit piece by a keyboard coward named Miles Klee who claims, revealingly, that Caveziel and the other filmmakers have been “fomenting moral panic for years over this grossly exaggerated ‘epidemic’ of child sex-trafficking.” Klee too dismisses the movie as a “QAnon-tinged thriller” “designed to appeal to the conscience of a conspiracy-addled boomer,” and slams its “hackneyed white savior narrative” – even though the real-life Ballard is white (unlike Klee, Ballard has actually put his own life on the line to save kidnapped children – does it matter what color he is? It does to the racist Left).
Klee concludes his hate-filled screed with a lament that instead of making movies about police brutality and climate catastrophes, “the far right turns to these sordid fantasies about godless monsters hurting children.” Try to imagine what kind of a person rolls his eyes about the very real sexual enslavement of children worldwide, a person who calls the child sex-trafficking phenomenon a “grossly exaggerated ‘epidemic.’”
“Grossly exaggerated”? Here are a few statistics from the Polaris Project, a movement to end human trafficking:
- Human trafficking is a $150 billion-a-year criminal enterprise business worldwide
- 27% of human trafficking victims are children
- The United States is #1 in the world for sex trafficking
- More than 500,000 children a year go missing in the U.S. alone
- Over 500,000 online sexual predators are active each day
- As of 2021, there are 252,000 websites containing images or videos of children sexually abused
Similar information can be found on many other sites dedicated to rescuing children from this plight. And yet Rolling Stone not only wants you to dismiss Jim Caveziel and the Sound of Freedom filmmakers as conspiracy theorists so that you will shun the movie and its passionate message on behalf of trafficked children, but also to believe that child sex trafficking itself is overblown, especially compared to leftist shibboleths like the police genocide of blacks and climate change.
Remember, Rolling Stone is the magazine that glamorized the 2013 Boston Marathon bomber with a sexy come-hither cover shot, a terrorist who murdered 8-year-old Martin William Richard among others, and who would have killed many more with his ball-bearing-and-nail bomb if he had positioned it higher off the ground. Rolling Stone is also the magazine that tried to demonize ivermectin users during the pandemic; that suppressed mention of child sexual abuse material in a child pornography investigation because the perpetrator was the friend of a RS editor; that hyped a false story about a University of Virginia fraternity rape in a controversy that nearly destroyed the lives of innocent young men. Rolling Stone is not a serious journalistic outlet; it’s a disgraceful, celebrity-polishing, leftwing activist rag that looks to destroy political opponents first and ask questions later, or preferably not at all.
It’s a magazine that defends pedophiles and child traffickers in order to own “far right” filmmakers. Think about that.
Even before Sound of Freedom hit the big screen, the Left was whitewashing child trafficking. A year ago The Atlantic, another left-wing publication, tried to discredit conservative concerns over child trafficking with a conspiracy fear-mongering piece called “The Great (Fake) Child Sex-Trafficking Epidemic.” “Dispatches from a moral panic” was the tagline.
The Left will hurl paint on priceless works of art, block major traffic arteries, and set themselves on fire to draw attention to their climate change hysteria, but then shrug off concerns about the reality of widespread sexual exploitation of children as a “moral panic.”
The media venom spewed at Sound of Freedom is so vicious and coordinated that one can’t help but wonder: who benefits from targeting the storytellers and heroes who target real-world pedophiles and child traffickers?
Pedophiles and child traffickers, that’s who.
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Send the cultural Marxists protecting child sex traffickers and pedophiles a message: go see Sound of Freedom. Angel Studios has even partnered with a variety of theater ticketing services to provide Pay it Forward tickets to see it. Find instructions HERE for how to claim a free ticket to see the film in theaters.
Angel Studios also has great resources for learning about and joining the fight against child trafficking HERE.