The Sound of Freedom: A modern story of an inconvenient truth
By Charlotte B. Cerminaro
Generally speaking, serious moviegoers would be well-advised to avoid the opinions of commercial movie reviewers. With content that increasingly reflects the overall state of the entertainment industry, political payoffs and targeted ads negate artistic skill. After watching Jim Caviezel and an excellent supporting cast of actors in The Sound of Freedom, it is difficult to remain unmoved by this epic story. Despite the fact that it didn't draw high reviews, the film can be summed up as highly effective work, a non-fictional delivery for a message of utmost urgency.
The movie's central topic is current, an outline of a war that is ongoing–more subtle and insidious than the Cold War, with estimated global casualties that rival WWII, and perpetrators that ubiquitously target civilians. Areas where children live in poverty and lawlessness are often the locus of crime.
The statistics are grim and sobering; kidnapping and human trafficking are big business in Central and South America but the problem is truly global. Though statistically less significant, the United States is seeing growing numbers of kidnappings (mostly young females), and more exporting and importing by traffickers each year. No country has been able to completely eradicate it, no border has been able to stop it thus far.
Jim Caviezel plays the part of a hero, a Department of Homeland Security investigator who quit his job to search for missing children, a brother and sister from Honduras who were abducted and sold into slavery. The story reveals abuse on many levels, children that are held captive in the darkest criminal enclaves. His initial detective work freed dozens of children; follow-up on his other leads ultimately led to the capture of numerous high-level criminal traffickers, and many hundreds of missing children were found.
At the end of the movie Caviezel delivers a powerful epilogue–the untold reality behind a story both astounding and unthinkable for most of us. The topic is not for polite conversation and indeed, some of our greatest global humanitarian crises are unspoken and underreported.
Human rights violations are widespread in every country, first- and third-world nations alike–but if they aren't picked up by mainstream media or taught within the halls of academia, they just do not exist. When the problem occasionally catches press or hits close to home, it is quickly rationalized, ie., justifying (crimes), blaming (society), minimizing (no one died this time), normalizing (through "cultural context") etc. In this way, any rational questions and natural discomfort are easily self-limiting.
With important topics and areas that are known for widespread lack of information, there is grave danger in ignorance and self-certainty, wrapped in a false sense of security. Such behavior patterns are an effective blockade against any incoming fact or uncomfortable reality.
Some of the lead character's great quotes are just old wisdom: "None of God's children are for sale." Great words are the genesis of ideas and Harriet Beecher Stowe is credited with these words, quoted in part, in the epilogue: "The most powerful person in the world is the storyteller"–[the same person that also bears the greatest responsibility.]
There is another important idea, with no minor significance here that weighs on my mind at this moment: The storyteller doesn't always find the story; sometimes, it's the story that finds the storyteller.
Charlotte B. Cerminaro is a Juilliard-trained classical musician and recording artist. In her free time she enjoys writing and regularly contributes to Enter Stage Right and she attained a Bachelor's Degree in Molecular Biology.