Elizabeth Norton
A Champion of Hope for a Far Better World
Elizabeth Norton
A Champion of Hope for a Far Better World
Blog Post

3 Things I wish Sound of Freedom Movie had done differently

October 31, 2023 Uncategorized

         Sound of Freedom hit the theaters by storm during the summer of 2023. While it had come out in theaters during a deeply sad time in my life, I still made a point of seeing it during its opening week with my husband.  I had been heavily anticipating the movie since I first heard of its conception and followed along as it sat on shelves and its ownership moved from company to company.  I was moved by this movie and am eagerly waiting for it to be able to watch it at home with my older kids. Yes, it was deeply moving for me but also was sadly familiar with my specific unique circumstances. 

        While I appreciated the message and the story of Sound of Freedom, here are 3 things that I wish the movie had addressed or done differently.  It was Hollywood after all. 

1.  While I understand movies can not last forever and have a time constraint, I wish that the United States and the child trafficking problem that resides here had a presence in the storyline. Clearly, the storyline, which is based on a true story, didn’t take place here but the main character is from the USA. I wish we had a deeper understanding of why trafficking was a cause close to Tim Ballard, played by Jim Caviezel, and why his convictions were so strong. Because the ring I witnessed is in the United States, NJ to be exact, I had hoped that the storyline had more roots in our country here. I needed it to raise awareness of the fact that the United States is not immune to hosting tragic crime rings selling children.
2. Human Trafficking comes in various forms. It is not always children sold. Had I produced the movie, I would have been sure that in some way the possible different types of trafficking would have been addressed. Yes, Human smuggling and trafficking rings, like the one I saw in Woodbine, are sadly alive and well in this world.  The movie story held many parallels to what I have personally witnessed. But, children are also trafficked through relatives and known family members.  Pimps take advantage of runaways and profit off of them. Wealthy trick humans in third-world countries looking for a better life, bring them to the United States on broken promises and work them to the bone. Exploitation happens in a variety of ways. Sound of Freedom is one story of many. Child trafficking is, unfortunately, accomplished in a variety of ways. I wish the character that played Tim Ballard’s boss held an important line discussing this as he was trying to talk Tim from making the leap into Cambodia and away from his career in the United States. I am sure this would not have changed Tim’s mind and the storyline but from my perspective, It was a missed opportunity to educate the audience and also validate others that have been trafficked in different ways.

3. I wish Sound of Freedom would have held more to the truth.  Child trafficking is deeply misunderstood.  It’s deeply confusing and tangled in evil.  When I hear reports, from Tim himself, about inaccuracies in the movie it makes me sad.  While this wasn’t a documentary it still should have accurately portrayed the story.  The story of Child Trafficking doesn’t need any elaboration or additional drama.  It is dramatic and dangerous enough on its own. Any report of falsehood is doing a disservice to the children that are truly facing these crimes. Hollywood will be Hollywood I guess but on a topic this serious in nature it is so sad to see important roles, such as Tim’s wife, be diminished and details being skipped. 

I want to be clear, this movie was a movie that I hated to love.  I am so thankful for the conversations it invoked and the awareness it has brought to the topic.  If you went to this movie but do not wish to have a conversation about the problem of trafficking in general you missed the point. 

If you haven’t seen this movie, I truly want to ask you why. The movie is rated PG-13. Have you watched a movie rated worse? While sex is implied, it is definitely not seen. We all wish we could not see these types of things, but we need to open our eyes. Especially as Christians, We should be aware of the evil happening in our world to children so we can advocate for them.  If we do not know what these children are living through how can we pray for them, speak for them, or answer the call if God asks us to save them?
The movie is not yet out but is available to be preordered. Digital Rental will, reportedly, be available on Dec 15, 2023. 
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