CV NEWS FEED // Known by audiences for his moving performance in “The Passion of Christ,” Catholic actor Jim Caviezel’s latest film, “Sound of Freedom”, will be released in theaters nationwide on July 4.
Shot on location in Colombia, the film is based on the true story of Tim Ballard, a former Homeland Security agent. Ballard quit his job in 2013 to found Operation Underground Railroad (OUR), an international organization that aids law enforcement in rescuing children from slavery and exploitation.
At the beginning of the film, Caviezel’s Ballard rescues a little boy from a human trafficking ring that caters to pedophiles. In an act of sacrifice and bravery, Ballard leaves his job to try and rescue the boy’s sister after learning that she was also taken.
Faced with seemingly impossible odds, including a vast pedophile trafficking network, treacherous conditions, and an alarming lack of support from the US government, Ballard perseveres in his mission to try and rescue the little girl, as well as many other children along the way.
Throughout the film, Ballard is told that his mission to find the girl is worthless because once children are abducted by human trafficking rings, they are irretrievably lost.
Ballard, however, remains unfazed, challenging others to join him in recognizing how precious the life of a child is.
Caviezel worked with the real Ballard in preparation for the film, undergoing training in close-quarter combat and accompanying Ballard on missions.
Speaking about his experience, Caviezel said: “I go and literally sit in on these missions and I’m watching him and his analysis of what he sees. And it has to be done very methodically. And I’m trying to find out who he is and what I am and how we’re similar.”
The actor hopes that “Sound of Freedom” will inspire audiences to leave theaters with “a heart that’s not afraid” to overcome the temptation to take the easy route, and to instead “love God’s children more than we fear evil.”
Caviezel emphasized that children are “the most vulnerable” members of our society and are under attack not just through human trafficking, but through abortion as well.
“That’s where Jesus is going to have a deep conversation with all of us when we die,” he said, “and I don’t want to be a part of that. I want to tell him that I love him. That’s what I want to say… I give my life for him. Because he deserves to be loved.”
Quoting Pope Saint John Paul II, Caviezel spoke about his hope that “Sound of Freedom” would show audiences “that freedom exists not to do what you like, but [to have] the right to do what you ought.”
“That’s the freedom I wish for you, for us,” Caviezel summarized. “Freedom from sin, freedom from our weaknesses, freedom from the slavery that sin makes out of all of us. That freedom is worth dying for.”
Caviezel ended by praising Ballard’s work, saying: “I’m here because this warrior saint, Tim Ballard, gave his life and continues to do it to go down to the cartel, risking his head like John the Baptist did. Risking his head like St. Paul did.”
The film’s production company, Angel Studios, hopes to have 2 million people attend the film’s opening in honor of the estimated 2 million children who are trafficked annually.
There is a ‘pay it forward’ option on their site, where customers have the option to pay for someone else’s ticket, in order to encourage the film’s distribution among those who may not be able to afford it.