Movie Review: Sound of Freedom

Posted on July 18, 2023 By

by Rachel MacNair


The movie Sound of Freedom is causing quite a stir. It depicts the real-life Tim Ballard, who’s portrayed doing Hollywood-movie style rescues to get children out of the grips of pedophilic sex trafficking. As a drama, it’s well done.

This would be the approach that would be taken by a movie that wants to draw people into theaters. The more mundane work of rehabilitation of victims and their families (which can take years), getting the legislation right in various countries, seeing to it that police, social workers, and others are well trained, all these things don’t make for good movies and aren’t shown.


The movie also skews toward shadowy abductions by strangers. Much more of the problem involves people the kids know who are betraying them into the trade.

As Teresa Huizar, CEO of the National Children’s Alliance, said:

Generally, young people end up in trafficking situations because their family is in incredible poverty, because of political unrest, because the child is being rejected by their family for their sexual orientation or gender identity or any number of things . . . [They] are likely to be trafficked again unless you address that underlying issue: What made them vulnerable in the first place? Why was their family not able to keep them safe? Those are the questions that are ignored in the narrative of, “Oh, they are in a bad place. All we have to do is move them and leave.”

Take note: poverty is connected. “Political unrest” is associated with war if it isn’t war outright, and it’s also connected to trafficking. Such connections are common to issues of violence. See the 2010 movie The Whistleblower for depicting how sex trafficking was related to the war in Bosnia (we did a short review of this as part of a set).

There was a message at the end where the lead actor appealed to people to use the QR code on the screen and pay forward to buy tickets for other people to see the movie for free, in order to spread the word and educate. An appeal for help in stopping the trafficking might be expected to offer information on organizations doing the hard work so viewers could send them donations (which I don’t have the needed expertise to recommend, but here’s a list).

Still, the technique was marketing genius, since it got the film higher box office figures and therefore more publicity. Since promoting the movie in hopes of educating about the issue was what people were donating to, it’s all honest. But of course more is needed than education. Most of us won’t encounter a situation where we can act directly, and we need to support those people who do. And everyone who sees this movie needs more education about the issue than what they saw in the movie.

The point was made that there are more people in slavery now that there were when it was legal. That’s because there are far more people, period. The percentage of people caught in slavery is way down from what it was in days of yore. But of course one is one too many.

The connection of sex trafficking of impregnatable girls and women to abortion is straightforward and heart-wrenching: it’s part of the sex traffickers’ business plans to have them vacuumed out and re-usable. Our member group Feminists Choosing Life Life of New York has put together an excellent video that, in addition to reporting from a study done on this, tells the tale from the perspective of women who’ve had the experience.



For more of our posts on similar topics, see:

Abortion Facilitates Sex Abuse: Documentation

How Abortion is Useful for Rape Culture

The Message of “Never Rarely Sometimes Always”: Abortion Gets Sexual Predators Off the Hook



movie reviewsex trafficking

  1. Ms. Boomer-ang says:

    Last week Nicholas Kristof wrote a NY Times column about the misfortune of human trafficking. Although he has taken some stances that are contrary to consistent life values, in this one column he said he was not joining the “liberal” bandwagon call for fully legalizing prostitution, brothels, and pimps. He pointed out that these lead to human trafficking and recognizes human trafficking as exploitative. He calls on “liberals” to realize this.

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