New movie brings to light an issue that exists in many local cities and towns, calling for all to hear the ‘Sound of Freedom’

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In its third weekend, Sound of Freedom beat out Hollywood powerhouses like Indiana Jones and Mission Impossible, with the movie’s gross earnings surging to nearly $125 million in domestic revenue. 

“Word continues to spread, crowds are continuing to show up,” said Brandon Purdie, Head of Theatrical Distribution at Angel Studies. “We want every American to see this landmark film.”

So why is it important for people to see this film? Many are saying that this film is opening eyes and beginning conversations that absolutely need to be had.

While Sound of Freedom is a fictional story, it is based on the real story of real people who have made real sacrifices to fight the very real evil of human trafficking. It is one person’s story, and the film aims to bring to light millions of other stories searching for a way to be told and a voice to be heard.

The movie’s tagline, “Fight for the light. Silence the darkness” sums up the value of telling stories like this on such a huge scale.

“The movie is entertainment and it is doing what entertainment does best, (which is to) create conversations,” said Candace Rivera, CEO and founder of Exitus, a non-profit based in Lehi that is leading the fight against human trafficking in its many forms in Utah and nationwide. “(The movie) portrays one type of trafficking, (which is) the child sex trade. We are hoping it will help us shine a light on the plight of those being trafficked in many different situations and much closer to home.”

Exitus partners with the Polaris Project, the National Human Trafficking Hotline and other organizations to help victims find healing and lasting freedom. They are working to change the public perception of what trafficking really is. 

While the movie shows one type of trafficking, it isn’t the norm. The movie does bring to light an important issue, but it is important to bring attention to what trafficking usually looks like by highlighting some myths as outlined by the Polaris Project.

MYTH: Traffickers target victims they don’t know. 

FACT: Many survivors have been trafficked by romantic partners, including spouses, and by family members, including parents. 

MYTH: Human trafficking involves moving, traveling or transporting a person across state or national borders.

 FACT: Human trafficking is often confused with human smuggling, which involves illegal border crossings. In fact, the crime of human trafficking does not require any movements whatsoever. Survivors are often recruited and trafficked in their own home towns, even in their own homes. 

MYTH: People being trafficked are physically unable to leave their situation/locked in/held against their will. 

FACT: More often, people in trafficking situations stay for reasons that are far more complicated than being physically restrained. Some lack the basic necessities to physically get out; such as transportation or a safe place to stay to live. Some are afraid for their safety. Some have been so effectively manipulated that they do not identify at that point a being under the control of another person. 

MYTH: Human trafficking does not occur in the United States; it only happens in other countries. 

FACT: Human trafficking exists in every country, including the United States. It exists nationwide; in cities, suburbs, and rural towns, and possibly in your own community.

“People need to begin having difficult conversations that get them looking around to see that the problem is not ‘out there;’ It is right here, in our own neighborhood,” Rivera continued.

In his message at the end of Sound of Freedom, actor Jim Caviezel states, “This movie isn’t about me or Tim Ballard, it’s about those kids… They are the true heroes.”

Rivera echoed that thought, adding that bringing these stories to light makes victims visible.

“The vast majority of our survivors feel discarded, unheard and unvalued. We need to focus on survivors and helping them to relearn their value,” Rivera said. “We need to be talking to them, hearing their stories, and having them guide the organizations that are fighting to save others.” 

For more information on how you can get involved in the fight against human trafficking, what you can teach your family to protect them and what to watch out for, you can go to,,, or

Submitted by Lorene Moore

Guest Contributor
Guest Contributor
Articles from community members to share their viewpoints, or letter to the editor.

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