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(LifeSiteNews) — “Sound of Freedom” is a brilliant – albeit heart-wrenching – movie based on the true story of former CIA agent, Tim Ballard, who quit his job a decade ago in order to rescue countless innocent children ensnared in the horrific underworld of child sex-trafficking.  

This is a MUST-SEE movie.  

When asked why he has undertaken his heroic mission, Ballard, played by Passion of the Christ actor Jim Caviezel, declares, “Because God’s children are not for sale.” 

The unspeakable evil of child sexual exploitation where an estimated two million kids – toddlers, 4- and 5-year-olds, up through their young teen years – around the world are raped, sodomized, tortured, and threatened with death many times per day by depraved adults is not far away from any of us. It’s a multibillion-dollar industry and, to our great shame, the United States is the industry’s biggest consumer.      

“Every day ordinary people don’t want to hear it,” explains Ballard, founder of Operation Underground Railroad, in the movie. “It’s too ugly for polite conversation. But meanwhile over two million children a year are being sucked into the deepest recesses of hell.” 

The fact is, [Child sex-trafficking] is the fastest growing international crime network that the world has ever seen.  It has already passed the illegal arms trade and soon it’s going to pass the drug trade. You want to know why? You can sell a bag of cocaine one time. But a child, the most precious child, you can sell a five year-old kid five to ten times a day for ten years straight. 

Ballard continues through tears: 

Trust me man, if we do nothing, their pain is going to spread and spread … ’til someday it’s going to reach the likes of you. And that will be a nightmare that you’re never going to wake up from.  

There’s a poignant scene where Tim asks middle-aged “Vampiro’” what compelled him to walk away from a long career in organized crime in order to help kids escape being bought and sold for sex. The unlikely rescuer tells a harrowing story of discovering that a prostitute he thought to be 25 years old with whom he had just slept was actually only 14 years old.   

He explains that afterwards, when their eyes met, “it was like I was granted a glimpse into her soul. And all I saw was sadness…. She’s been doing it since she was six.”   

All of a sudden, I’m hit by this tidal wave, this tsunami of darkness. And I know, I’m the darkness in her eyes. Me. I’m the darkness. And I know: The darkness has to die. 

So I get my 45. Put it to my head. Put my finger on the trigger. Now if there is a time to ask if God exists, that would be it. 

So I did.   

When God tells you what to do, you cannot hesitate. 

One gets the sense that each of the men and women behind the creation of this landmark film did exactly that. God told them what to do, and they did not hesitate. The result is a masterful film about the ugliest of topics, aimed at enlisting the help of ordinary citizens to aid in the rescue of kids sold into slavery.


I was privileged to view an advance copy of the yet-to-be-released film, and later attended its Washington, D.C. premiere at the Museum of the Bible. While the movie adroitly avoids grisly scenes, it’s still tough to watch. The remarkable child actors do an amazing job of displaying the distress of kids swept up into this nightmarish world, and Jim Caviezel expresses the inner workings of rescuer Tim Ballard’s soul with his eyes, often moistened with tears, as he does with words.   

I admit: Although I’m a seasoned citizen of the world, I cried – let’s be honest, I sobbed – through much of the first hour of the film. As I previewed the movie on my laptop computer, I found myself having to get up and walk away several times between scenes in order to decompress from the powerful, moving portrayals I had just witnessed.  

At the outset of the movie, as a distressed father runs down a street desperately searching for his daughter and son who have just been kidnapped, the scene fades into a montage of black and white Closed-circuit television (CCTV) clips of unsuspecting children being stolen off the streets of South and Central American towns.   

I asked Tim Ballard if the CCTV clips were real or created for the movie. He assured me they are real.    

In another scene a group of recently kidnapped Colombian children are packed into a filthy shipping container which is loaded onto an ocean-bound freighter. The kids desperately cry for help through the container’s single small air vent. It quickly becomes apparent that no one will come to their aid: The camera pans out to reveal the vessel is alone in the middle of a vast sea. No one will hear their cries. 

But in a way, someone did hear their cries and sense their distress from thousands of miles away: Tim Ballard. Spoiler alert: By the end of the film, those kids will be rescued.   

In a postscript to the movie, Jim Caviezel asserts that “We can make Sound of Freedom the Uncle Tom’s Cabin of 21st century slavery.” Child-sex-slavery.     

If one man, Tim Ballard, can rescue thousands of innocent children trapped in a nightmare, imagine what a thousand, or ten thousand, or a million brave men could do.   

As I concluded my interview with Tim Ballard, I told him what I’ve been telling my friends: “I would follow that man into war.”   

Sound of Freedom opens in theaters across the nation on July 4. Tickets can be purchased in advance onlineGo see it. 

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Doug Mainwaring is a journalist for LifeSiteNews, an author, and a marriage, family and children's rights activist.  He has testified before the United States Congress and state legislative bodies, originated and co-authored amicus briefs for the United States Supreme Court, and has been a guest on numerous TV and radio programs.  Doug and his family live in the Washington, DC suburbs.