The hotly-anticipated movie, Sound of Freedom, opened in Irish cinemas last week and, according to some fans, it has been the receipt of “huge applause” in some “packed cinemas”.
Sound of Freedom, an independent movie which the Irish Times has described as being “handsomely staged on a modest budget”, tells the story of Tim Ballard, a former CIA and Department of Homeland Security agent, who has dedicated his life to rescuing children from the clutches of child sex traffickers.
In the thriller directed by Alejandro Monteverde, federal agent Ballard successfully rescues a little boy only to discover that the child’s sister is still in captivity. The father of six decides to quit his job and hunt for the girl deep into the Colombian jungle.
The smash-hit movie, whose success has taken the Hollywood establishment by surprise, opened in Ireland and Britain last week after becoming a runaway hit at the the U.S. box office.
Now Irish audiences seem to be appreciating the movie and its core message regarding child trafficking, which it describes as “the fastest-growing international crime network that the world has ever seen”. Figures just in show that it entered the weekend box office chart compiled across the UK and Ireland in 4th place.
Just saw Sound of Freedom in my local movie theatre in Ireland. The room was filled. The film was fantastic. I’m very glad something like this got made, and that it’s being seen. Child sex trafficking is one of the largest problems facing humanity in the present day.
— Adam James Pollock 🕊 (@aIIegoricaI) September 2, 2023
One family in Louth told Gript that the cinema where they watched the movie in Drogheda was “jam packed” and that the film got “huge applause at the end”.
Another mother who attended at a showing in Carlow said the showing was “packed out” in the “theatre with the biggest screen”, while in Meath one viewer reported that “people were very emotional” leaving the movie.
In comments left under IMC’s Facebook post about the movie, one woman said she had “seen it Saturday night in Mullingar and it got 2 round of applause from the crowd. Everyone should go see it. Every life matters & no life should be for sale”.
Angel Studio co-founder, Neal Harmon, said that Sound of Freedom was at the top of the box office in a string of Latin American countries at the end of August, and that that the success of the film was building huge awareness for trafficked children.
Sound of Freedom was #1 in the box office in all of these Latin American countries yesterday, August 31st, opening day. Having lived in Mexico for two years, I love the Latin people so much. They were so good to me and they are building huge awareness for trafficked children.… pic.twitter.com/G5uVH1QNPF
— Neal Harmon (@nealsharmon) September 1, 2023
The official trailer for Sound of Freedom says that child sex-trafficking is the “fastest-growing international crime network that the world has ever seen”, passing out the illegal arms trade and catching up with the drugs trade.
“You can only sell a bag of cocaine one time – a child, five to ten times a day,” is the chilling claim central to the movie.
The motivation for Ballard’s work, and for the movie, can be summed up in the film’s most publicised line – ‘God’s children are not for sale” – according to commentators.
At a Belfast screening in August, viewers at Cityside cinema told Gript that the film was “exceptionally inspirational” and “very moving” – describing it as “a movie that draws you back to reality”.
Gript went along to the premiere of Sound of Freedom in Belfast last night. The film, which tells the true story of a government agent who rescues hundreds of children from sex traffickers, has sparked a major reaction — so what did viewers of the film in Belfast think?#gript pic.twitter.com/iAEL8O9wM8
— gript (@griptmedia) August 24, 2023
In an interview with Gript’s Ben Scallan, director Alejandro Monteverde said that making the movie was about “shining a light on this darkness” – and that what the movie revealed was just the “tip of the iceberg” regarding human trafficking.
The film struggled to find a distributor for many years, he said, but the Harmon brothers from Angel Studios then became involved and used a “pay if forward” device to successfully drive up sales and viewers.
Irish reviewer Tara Brady of the Irish Times described the film as “refreshingly unaffected”.
“There’s no doubting the religiosity or sincerity of the project. And there’s no doubting the urgency around the central theme of child trafficking,” she wrote.