A new American film that reveals the brutal reality of child sex-trafficking has been greeted with muted enthusiasm from the political left, which begs the question: does the silence equal complicity in the unspeakable crime?
Tim Ballard is an American anti-human trafficking activist, author and founder of the non-profit organization Operation Underground Railroad, an anti-sex trafficking organization. A former special agent at the Department of Homeland Security who now works independently, Ballard’s life’s work is being immortalized in a Hollywood film, entitled Sound of Freedom.
The film, which stars Jim Caviezel in the role of Ballard, leads audiences through the harrowing twists and turns of Ballard’s true life experiences where he works to rescue children from the nightmare of sex slavery. Despite receiving mixed reviews from critics, the film has grossed over $140 million in the United States against a $14.5 million budget, while audience reception has been highly positive, scoring 99% on the Rotten Tomatoes film review site, and for apparently good reason.
According to estimates by the International Labour Organization, there were 24.9 million victims of human trafficking around the world in 2016. Yet for reasons known only to them, the left-leaning media and other institutions appear to be strangely anxious to draw the curtain on the Angel Studios production.
Writing in Variety magazine, Owen Gleiberman observed, “Let’s assume that, like me, you’re not a right-wing fundamentalist conspiracy theorist looking for a dark, faith-based suspense film to see over the holiday weekend. Even then, you needn’t hold extreme beliefs to experience ‘Sound of Freedom’ as a compelling movie that shines an authentic light on one of the crucial criminal horrors of our time, one that Hollywood has mostly shied away from.”
At a time when the question of sexual misconduct inside of the entertainment industry continues to grab headlines, as witnessed by the #MeToo movement, Hollywood’s indifference and even aversion to the subject of pedophilia and child sex-trafficking is strange to say the least. After all, as this cinematic biopsy rightly reveals, there are more people enslaved now, by sex trafficking, than there were when slavery was legal. And while allegations of sexual abuse committed by Hollywood bigwigs (amongst consenting adults) is highly disturbing, even the hint that America’s leading industry could be defending or even participating in child sex-trafficking seriously challenges the limits of moral acceptability.