THE SOUND OF FREEDOM – Review by Susan Granger

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When Sound of Freedom was released in theaters a couple of weeks ago, it ignited a storm of controversy, so I was curious about this crowd-funded, contemporary thriller, reportedly based on a true story.

On the surface, it raises awareness of the horrors of global child-trafficking and sexual exploitation, introducing Homeland Security Investigations Officer Tim Ballard (Jim Caviezel), who reportedly worked for more than a decade tracking missing children and arresting the pedophiles who molested them.

His investigation of a kidnapped brother-and-sister leads him deep into the Colombian jungle. Their story begins in Honduras as a single father allows his 11 year-old daughter and her seven year-old brother to audition for glamorous modeling jobs. He’s told to to drop them off at an apartment and not to return until that evening. When he arrives, the apartment is deserted and they’re long gone.

Eventually, there’s a confrontation on a tropical island that bears a striking similarity to pedophile Jeffrey Epstein’s in the Caribbean.

Director Alejandro Monteverde emphasizes the narrative’s pious nature as Ballard’s colleague (Bill Camp) says, “When God tells you what to do, you cannot hesitate,” followed by Ballard’s own declaration: “God’s children are not for sale.”

Problem is: The Department of Homeland Security will neither confirm nor deny Ballard’s employment history and the New York Times notes that outspoken Ballard has been accused of exaggerating his rescue narratives.

Plus, last summer, Ballard’s anti-child sex trafficking organization – Operation Underground Railroad (OUR) – promoted a ridiculous, since-debunked claim that the online furniture retailer Wayfair was promoting the sale of stolen children.

Best known for playing Jesus in Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ, Jim Caviezel is an opinionated conservative Christian who embraces a fringe QAnon conspiracy theory called “adrenochroming.”

Rooted in anti-Semitism, it alleges that liberal elites are secretly killing children to harvest ‘adrenochrome’ from their blood for psychedelic experiences, satanic rituals and extending their lifespan.

As quoted by the Daily Beast on Yahoo News, Caviezel explains: “When you are scared, you produce adrenaline…If a child knows he’s going to die, his body will secrete this adrenaline…It’s the worst horror I’ve ever seen.”

Angel Studios claims this is not a QAnon movie, yet in late 2001, Caviezel spoke at a QAnon convention in Las Vegas invoking the QAnon slogan, “The storm is upon us.”

So why is this relevant? Because – in reviewing a film of this nature – it’s almost impossible to separate the artist from a piece of work that’s deeply rooted in his personal beliefs. Perhaps that’s why Netflix, Amazon, Disney and 21st Century Fox refused to distribute it.

On the Granger Gauge of 1 to 10, The Sound of Freedom is a solemn, faith-based 5, playing in theaters.

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Susan Granger

Susan Granger is a product of Hollywood. Her natural father, S. Sylvan Simon, was a director and producer at R.K.O., M.G.M. and Columbia Pictures; her adoptive father, Armand Deutsch, produced movies at M.G.M. As a child, Susan appeared in movies with Abbott & Costello, Red Skelton, Lucille Ball, Margaret O'Brien and Lassie. She attended Mills College in California, studying journalism with Pierre Salinger, and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with highest honors in journalism. During her adult life, Susan has been on radio and television as an anchorwoman and movie/drama critic. Her newspaper reviews have been syndicated around the world, and she has appeared on American Movie Classics cable television. In addition, her celebrity interviews and articles have been published in REDBOOK, PLAYBOY, FAMILY CIRCLE, COSMOPOLITAN, WORKING WOMAN and THE NEW YORK TIMES, as well as in PARIS MATCH, ELLE, HELLO, CARIBBEAN WORLD, ISLAND LIFE, MACO DESTINATIONS, NEWS LIMITED NEWSPAPERS (Australia), UK DAILY MAIL, UK SUNDAY MIRROR, DS (France), LA REPUBBLICA (Italy), BUNTE (Germany), VIP TRAVELLER (Krisworld) and many other international publications through SSG Syndicate. Susan also lectures on the "Magic and Mythology of Hollywood" and "Don't Take It Personally: Conquering Criticism and other Survival Skills," originally published on tape by Dove Audio.