Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina called the film “an amazing, heartbreaking and moving film”.
“Oh. Oh. Amazing,” said Texas Senator Ted Cruz I have written He introduced the content of the film and invited supporters to watch it.
And on Wednesday, former President Donald J. Trump will host a screening of the movie The Sound of Freedom at a private club in New Jersey. Box office hit unlikely Captivated the imagination of American conservatives.
Released on July 4, the film was the second-most-watched film in North America last weekend, behind .Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning‘” and earned $90.7 million as of Monday, according to comScore data.
Based on real events, the film stars Jim Caviezel as former federal agent Tim Ballard, who tried to save South American children from sex traffickers. Its themes resonate with a wide range of conservatives, including mainstream Republicans who have focused on education and other children’s issues, evangelicals who have reacted to the film’s religious overtones, and far-right QAnon followers who have long propagated alarming fears of children’s dangers.
And Caviezel himself has promoted the baseless QAnon theory. Appearing on Steven Bannon’s podcast before the film’s release, he commented on QAnon’s slogan, “The big storm is coming.” In 2021 he will Spoken at a QAnon conventionThere, he repeated false allegations about adrenochrome, a chemical that some QAnon followers claim to have been taken from children.
A spokeswoman for Angel Studios, which produced the film, did not respond to a request for comment.
Attempts to contact Caviezel were unsuccessful, but on Wednesday he responded to critical press coverage of the film. Appearing on the conservative podcast “The Benny Show,” he repeated a quote from the movie that quoted a passage from the Bible. “I’d rather throw a millstone around my neck and throw it into the sea to hurt one of these little kids,” he said.
Caviezel and Ballard were scheduled to attend a screening at Trump’s club on Wednesday.
Misinformation experts expressed concern about the film’s message.
“I think human trafficking is real, child trafficking is real. These are real issues,” said Kathryn Olmstead, a professor of history at the University of California, Davis, who has studied the role of conspiracy theories in U.S. politics. “But this new, highly politicized focus only symbolizes the growing political polarization in our society.”
Ballard, the central figure in “Sound of Freedom,” is a former Homeland Security official who founded an anti-trafficking group and was appointed sheriff by Trump. Federal Advisory Board about human trafficking.he ever accused of exaggerating his achievements.
The film follows Mr. Ballard as he sets off to rescue two brothers who have been sold to sex traffickers. He eventually saves dozens of children.
When asked by another character in the film why he chose to do this work, Caviezel replied, “God’s children are not for sale.”
Daniela Peterka-Benton, academic director of the Global Center for Trafficking in People at Montclair State University, said the film’s focus on saviors rather than victims resulted in an imperfect and glorified depiction of human trafficking. Most of the children, she said, are not being “kidnapped” but are being trafficked by people they know.
“It’s a disservice to victims. It’s a disservice to those who are seriously fighting to end human trafficking and serve survivors,” she said. “So there’s a lot more to it than just a rescue.”
Nevertheless, politicians and critics, hollywood celebrity praised this film.
Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump, who has largely stayed out of politics since the 2020 presidential election, wrote on Twitter in June to promote the film, “shed light on the dire reality” of human trafficking and “wake up our collective conscience and urge us to take action on behalf of those trapped in the dark web.”
Republicans – many of whom were less worried about the Trump administration separate immigrant children from their parents — we are also working on this issue.
Last week, the official Senate Republican Twitter account shared a video noting: New York Times report About immigrant children forced into dangerous jobs across the United States. The post misleadingly accused President Biden of “creating the largest child trafficking ring in US history.”
In liberal Manhattan, some theaters said “Sound of Freedom” audiences came not for political reasons, but because they wanted to see a good thriller based on what they believed to be a true story.
“I’m here because I believe there is child trafficking going on and it’s not getting enough light,” said 19-year-old Manhattan resident Malaika Vilamizar.
But she was surprised to hear that the film was promoted by Trump and other Republican politicians. She said she heard about the film on TikTok.