Editor’s Note: Whether on screen or off, Hollywood can always be counted on to keep us entertained. This is especially true when it comes to politics. Liberty Nation’s HollyWeird column shines the spotlight on Tinseltown’s A-listers and their wild and wacky takes on today’s events.
Sound of Freedom, a movie based on real-life child sex trafficking rescues, is killing it at the box office, but it has been engulfed in bizarre claims that theaters are sabotaging the film so that moviegoers can’t see the flick. “Fans say the movie speaks to an audience underserved by Hollywood; critics contend it’s a recruiting tool for the far right,” USA Today explained. Why is this film so controversial?
Sound of Freedom Background
The movie is based on the life of former Homeland Security Special Agent Tim Ballard as he quits the agency and starts Operation Underground Railroad to rescue children from sex trafficking. “Over 2 million children a year are being sucked into the deepest recesses of hell,” the official trailer emphasized. “It 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.”
The script was written in 2015 and finished filming in 2018. Originally, it was produced by 20th Century Studios, but Disney put it on hold in 2019 when it acquired the studio. Then Angel Studios adopted it. After making more than $53 million since its release on July 4, its popularity has been shadowed by politics and drama.
Sounds like a movie people would appreciate, right? A true story about saving children from trafficking. It’s not the graphic and violent content causing the issue; it’s the leading man and the filmmakers. Critics claim the creators are linked to QAnon and so is Jim Caviezel, who plays the role of Ballard and starred in Mel Gibson’s 2004 The Passion of the Christ.
Recently, Caviezel appeared on Steve Bannon’s podcast where he talked about the QAnon theory that child traffickers “drain children’s blood to harvest a life-extending hormone called ‘adrenochrome,’” The Daily Beast wrote. This elixir, according to rumor, is used by the elite, including Hollywood celebrities. The actor has appeared at QAnon conventions, according to some sources.
If this wasn’t bad enough for liberals, Ballard has been accused of exaggerating his accounts. Vice News wrote a lengthy piece in 2020 called “A Famed Anti-Sex Trafficking Group Has a Problem With the Truth” that alleged the former agent and his Operation Underground Railroad lied and misrepresented details of missions and victims.
Now, add former Donald Trump to the mix, and all the ingredients can drive liberals mad. In 2019, Ballard advised the former president on trafficking issues, and Trump announced plans to screen Sound of Freedom in July at the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, NJ. Ballard and Caviezel have been invited to attend.
While some are boycotting the movie, others allege theaters are sabotaging viewings. Videos are going viral of moviegoers complaining about bright lights being left on during the screening, no air conditioning, and unexplained building evacuations. Social media influencer Sarah Homirch posted a TikTok video that showed the lights blazing while the movie was playing. She later explained, “They finally turned [them] off after they realized no one was leaving … so bizarre.” Another TikTok user posted, “The lights didn’t turn off for the first 10 minutes, and also there was like a voiceover, like a narrator, for blind people.” She added, “After about 15 minutes … they turned the movie off and someone came in and was like, ‘We can’t fix it, so you all have to leave. We’re gonna give you free passes.’”
AMC Theaters CEO Adam Aron and Angel Studio argued against the allegations and joined forces to try to prevent the boycott. On Twitter, Aron wrote, “Sadly, conspiracy theorists are so prevalent in America. So much garbage information is spread. More than ONE MILLION people have watched ‘Sound of Freedom’ at AMC Theatres. More than at any other theatre chain on the planet. Yet people falsely claim otherwise. It is so bizarre.”
Whatever the case, the film is causing a stir and has deepened the dividing line between the left and right. As Outkick remarked, “’Sound of Freedom’ appears to piggyback on a similar cultural wave, allowing Heartland types a way to highlight a societal ill and give traditional Hollywood a powerful message. Make more movies like this, or we’ll keep supporting renegade films that defy the industry’s gatekeepers.”
Tune in next time to see what else Tinseltown has planned.
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