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The Catalyst

The Student News Site of Millard West High School

The Catalyst

The Student News Site of Millard West High School

The Catalyst

Journey to freedom

Informative action film leaves ticket buyers conscious of world crisis
“Sound of Freedom” has now sold over 8.9 million tickets and has passed $100 million dollars in box office revenue.

“Sound of Freedom” is an eye-opening movie about human trafficking and what families of victims go through. This movie shows the journey of what different people have to endure to get their kids back, sometimes wondering if they will ever see their kids again. If you ask me, this movie really touches your heart and informs you on what is going on in today’s world, which makes you have a strong feeling of being grateful. 

In this movie, there is a girl named Rocío (Cristal Aparicio), who is the main character. She has a beautiful voice and loves singing. When a former beauty queen, Giselle (Kelly Johana Suarez) hears this girl in a market, she speaks to Rocio’s father and convinces him to let her model, along with her little brother, Miguel (Lucás Ávila). 

Personally, if that was my kid singing with such ease, I wouldn’t even trust a person on the street. I would just look into what they want with real companies. Little does he know that “child modeling” is actually a disguise for human trafficking. He devotes his time to finding his kids, but when Homeland Security attempts to give up because they realize that the kids are not in the U.S. anymore, Tim Ballard (Jim Caviezel) who works for the Crimes Against Children Task Force quits his job to pursue this investigation.

Warning: Spoilers Ahead 

The movie starts out with Rocío singing in her bed and playing the drums with a laundry basket. It then zooms out and you see Giselle knocking on the door of Rocío’s house. Her dad and Giselle have a conversation about child modeling, and after being a little hesitant, he agrees. Roberto (José Zúñiga) drops off his kids to model and goes about his day. Little does he know when he comes back to pick them up, it will already be too late. His kids will already be taken. Based on his facial expressions and the conversation he had with Giselle, I think he was a little suspicious about it from the beginning. 

After he realizes his kid is already taken, the movie switches to Ballard, a special agent for Homeland Security Investigations who arrests people for charges of child pornography. His job already takes quite a toll on him, and after a coworker of his tells him that they have captured so many predators but they have not saved one kid due to the fact that those children are already outside the U.S., it really sticks with Tim. 

He uses this fact to his advantage, and when he has a predator in custody named Ernst Ohinsky (Kristopher Avedisian), he decides to use Ernst for information. Tim then pretends to be a pedophile and takes him out of police custody for one week to find out more information on the captured children. I think Tim was really smart for doing that. Not only does he take his job seriously, but he is completely devoted, unlike the rest of the department, to finding the kids who have been trafficked. 

When that one week gets granted to him, he takes Ernst to his house, and just around with him in general. One night, they go to a diner, and Tim gets granted a book from the predator. The book has a picture inside of the kid Ernst is going to sell to Tim. That is enough proof for Tim to prove the predator is not innocent and help him find the kid. Once the predator is arrested again, Tim starts his journey to find the kid.

Tim and his team go over to the U.S.-Mexico border where Miguel, the kid that Ernst was trying to sell, is being held. They find the suspected car right away and stop it from crossing the border. Miguel’s trafficker Earl Backman (Gary Basaraba) gets arrested. Miguel, who barely knows what’s going on, gets told that he is safe and that it is all okay. Tim takes him out to eat, and Miguel talks about the experience he has had since he was trafficked. He also says that his sister, Rocío, is still missing. Miguel then hands over a necklace that says “Timoteo” on it and says to give it to Rocío when he finds her.

When Miguel is returned to his dad, his dad talks about how he will forever be sleepless and worrisome until his daughter is found. In my opinion, I think this really made Tim sympathetic and made him realize he not only wanted to find this kid, but he felt like he needed to. Tim now makes it his mission to reunite this family. Especially since Rocío is Tim’s daughter’s age, this hits close to home for him and makes him more understanding of the situation. 

Although Tim’s boss does not want him to continue because this kid is probably already outside U.S. borders, Tim doesn’t care. I really like that Tim doesn’t care because it shows that he will do anything for anyone without a thought or care in the world.

After talking to his wife, he leaves for Cartagena, Colombia, where the rest of the children Giselle has trafficked are. He meets his partner who will be with him along the way, Vampiro (Bill Camp), a former cartel member. They found out together that Giselle is not her real name, it is Katy Juarez. After hearing about sex hotels that are in place, Tim came up with an amazing idea. He can go undercover as a trafficker and create his own hotel to lure Katy and the kids there.

He wants to save as many kids as possible, so he asks if they could bring as many as they can. Tim has a meeting with one of Katy’s men to plan out the “delivery.” Creating this plan and going through it is really good because I feel like nobody would just randomly assume someone is making a sex hotel. Because it is believable, I was confident about this plan. 

Tim and Vampiro then have a deep discussion about Vampiro’s past. One night he was at a club and he brought a girl home. She appeared to be older and seemed like she knew what she was doing, only for him to discover that she was 14 at the time. When he repeatedly apologized, she responded that it was okay because this had been happening since she was 6 years old and he was the first person to do this to her unintentionally.

Because of this experience, Vampiro wanted to commit suicide. He talks about how he never forgave himself for it, but he has believed ever since then that God put him on this earth to help rescue children like the one he had interactions with. In this vulnerable moment, you could tell that Vampiro really felt bad for what he did, and if he could go back and change it, he would.

After this deep conversation, Tim receives a phone call from his boss saying they can no longer support this investigation because of the lack of money and tells him to return. As expected, Tim doesn’t listen and quits his job to continue this journey. I think Tim not listening and continuing this investigation is sweet because he is committed to helping other families.

Tim, Vampiro, and Jorge (Javier Gordino), a friend of Vampiro, all work together to bring Katy and the kids to this hotel. When all the kids, predators, and people trying to rescue the kids are in one place, it all falls together. Tim catches Carne (Mauricio Cujar), one of the many predators that is helping Katy, sneak off with one of the kids. Tim tries to stop him by saying he wants the kid but fails miserably. A gun gets pointed at Tim, and while Tim hesitates getting shot just to have this kid saved, Vampiro tells him to give the kid back. 

After that, Tim and Vampiro return to where Katy and her helpers are. I liked that part because I feel like it shows how determined Tim is. The U.S. Embassy storms in, and even though Katy acts like she is innocent, the others already know she’s not. Katy and her helpers get arrested, and the kids start singing and playing. As Tim looks around, he finds out that Rocío is not there, although he rescued 54 other children. 

When he realizes Rocío is not there, he has to go back to investigate. One of the guys who had been helping Katy told Tim’s partner everything after finding out Carne died. When he starts talking, Tim and Vampiro discover that Rocío was sold to a guy from the armed forces of Colombia named The Scorpion (Gerardo Taracena). She is being kept in an armed territory that is forbidden to enter. When Jorge thinks that their investigation and journey will end here, it is truly far from the end because Tim and Vampiro have other plans. 

Vampiro came up with the idea that they could act as doctors distributing vaccinations. I was hoping that they would try and find a way to get into the area because I wouldn’t have believed that would be the end of him finding Rocío due to the fact that they already have gotten so far. They got to this area by boat, but before being able to get there, armed forces stopped him and Vampiro. They took Tim to Scorpion’s camp and left Vampiro on the boat. Although they have badges, because they are Americans, this doesn’t help them. Tim makes it to Scorpion’s camp where Rocío is being held. At this point in the movie, I had full trust that somehow Rocío would get rescued.

When Tim arrives there, he decides it is better to wait until late at night to try and rescue Rocío. When Scorpion and his helpers are drinking, Rocío is found by Tim in her room. She gets extremely scared because he wakes her up in the middle of the night, and she screams. Very loud. Although Scorpion is drunk, he is still aware of the scream and makes his way to her room. Tim hides under Rocío’s bed, and when Scorpion walks in, he prepares to rape her again.

Tim is not going to let this happen. He springs out from under the bed and kills Scorpion. Tim and Rocío ran out of there before anyone found out what had happened. They run to a boat and by the time they get in the boat, Scorpion’s guys have realized what has happened to him. 

There is a security guard sleeping right by the boat, and one of Scorpion’s helpers calls him on a walkie talkie which wakes him up and tells him not to let them get away. He and many others start shooting at Tim, but he successfully gets away with Rocío

One thing to note about this movie is that because Tim is a homeland security agent, he is sly and an “on the spot” type of guy which for some reason caught me off guard because of how good his character is. It rarely seems like acting, and because it’s so real, that is why I loved watching this movie. 

Rocío is in the hospital now being taken care of and is reunited with her family. Tim gives Rocío back the Timoteo necklace that Miguel wanted her to have. Tim is thanked heavily, and the family returns to Honduras. When she goes back home, she finds a drum in her room. And just like the movie started, it ends with her playing a drum and singing. I really favored this part of the movie because it kind of represents a feeling of comfort now that everyone is back and reunited with each other. It shows that with hard, dedicated work, some families don’t have to stay apart forever.  

At the end of this movie after the credits, there is an announcement along with a QR code that allows you to pay for someone else’s ticket so that they can watch this movie and spread the information. The announcement talks about how the real Tim Ballard has saved over 120 kids that were trafficked, and because he reported it to Congress, that has also helped establish new laws for governments cooperating with other countries in human trafficking investigations. 

It is also stated that there are more kids sold into slavery today than when it was actually legal. If I were him, I would feel pretty good as a human knowing that I saved hundreds of kids and I would be proud of the fact that I would slowly be stopping this “trend” of human trafficking. 

If you’re going into this movie expecting to come out with an open mind and more awareness, then this is a great movie. When I went to watch this movie, many people walked out of it at the end talking about how they were glad they watched this because they were informed and that they truly learned a lot. When I watched this movie, it made me feel grateful for the life I have right now and where I live because here in Omaha, it is not as common as other places for human trafficking to happen. In my opinion, this movie is set up perfectly. 



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About the Contributor
Sophia Eljamal
Sophia Eljamal, Staff Reporter
Sophia is a junior at Millard West and this is her first year on the staff for the CATalyst. She likes traveling around the world and running. Over the summer, she traveled to numerous countries in Europe. In her free time, she enjoys going shopping, hanging out with her friends, and listening to music. She also loves to work and watch her favorite shows and movies on Netflix. Sophia looks forward to writing stories about sports and working with her classmates to produce interesting stories.

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