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Sound of Freedom is a great movie, and unlike most Hollywood and Disney offerings these days, is well worth the effort to go and see, it’s a refreshing change.

The film is mostly based on a true story of American agent Tim Ballard played by Jim Caviezel, (The Passion of the Christ) who works in the Office of Homeland Security and his Operation Underground Railroad. His mission is to find and convict paedophiles and child sex traffickers on United States soil.  However, his perspective is enlarged when he realises the problem of child sexual trafficking is an international one and doesn’t stop at arresting felons.  The film centres around a Columbian family headed by Roberto and his two children Minuel (8) and his sister Rocio (9). Under the ruse of training for a child modelling course, his children are separated from the family and whisked away into the dark world of child sex trafficking where they are to be sold as sex slaves.

This is a very disturbing film in many ways and if you are wanting a good night out to enjoy yourself, then this film is not for you. There is nothing frivolous about this confronting film and one has to wonder how such a blight of human society could be such a pervasive problem in the modern world where most people in westernised nations would regard themselves as progressive and informed and yet this disgusting trade is flourished right under our noses.                    

The film follows Tim Ballard’s rescue of Minual, and after learning that his sister Rocio is still missing, Ballard forms a steely resolve to find and rescue her and goes to Columbia. Tim's Homeland Security supervisor is unable to provide funding for the operation and asks him to return to the U.S. Tim resigns his position rather than abandon the search for Rocío.

At the end of the film’s credits, there is a moving epilogue by Jim Caviezel in which he claims there are more people enslaved today than at any other time in history, including when slavery was legal.  This is a disturbing statistic, but one also has to keep in mind the world’s present population is over seven times as large as it was back then.  (Britain abolished slavery in 1833, and the U.S. abolished slavery in 1865).

Jim Caviezel urges all viewers to act as ambassadors for exploited children and to encourage family and friends to see the film, which is a worthy thing to do, and I guess that would also help to make the film a more commercial success.

The film has been endorsed by Mel Gibson and Elon Musk and to date has been the third most successful film this year grossing over $182 million after having been made for $14.5 million in 2018.

Lastly, the film is rated M, and generally suitable for family viewing as long as children are over 15 years of age due to the sensitive subject matter of the film.

Alan Barron is Victoria State Director for FamilyVoice Australia

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As we approach Father’s Day, let us draw our attention to fathers. Australia is now suffering a crisis of fatherlessness. One in four children are growing up without their father at home. 

This means that those children are three times more likely to engage in criminal activity than those who have dads at home. Those children are more likely to engage in sexual activity earlier, are less likely to go on to higher education are more likely to have emotional and behavioural problems, more likely to struggle academically, are twice as likely to commit suicide, and much more likely to commit violence. 

Almost any social good that can be named is dependent on fathers who commit to their families and is at risk when they don’t. This does not mean that a faithful father at home guarantees success for children. Many people squander the amazing inheritance with which they are blessed. What is true in the general in not necessary so in the particular.

At the same time, statistics do predict the future of societies. Though fatherlessness is correlated with almost every major cultural crisis of the 21st century, the importance of fathers remains consistently underestimated and is even undermined. 

So-called “same-sex marriage” and adoption by same-sex couples suggest that either mothers or fathers really aren’t that important when it comes to raising children. Legalized abortion has effectively catechised generations of men into believing they are not obligated to take responsibility for children that result from their sexual activity and catechised generations of women into believing they’ve no right to expect that commitment from men. According to the Guttmacher Institute, nearly half of all women who seek abortions do so because they’ve been abandoned by their baby’s father.

The Institute for Family Studies, continues to research and report the statistical importance of fathers. Just as God designed procreation to require one man and one woman, He meant for that man and that woman to raise their children. Fathers love, teach, provide for, and nurture both sons and daughters in ways mothers can’t. The same goes for mothers.

We also know the importance of fathers because God has revealed Himself as a Father. This striking designation should cause every earthly father to tremble. We have an awesome responsibility.

Every person ever created knows in their bones the irreplaceable importance of fathers, either because of the comfort, steadiness, and love we received from an attentive father, or because of the pain of his absence. Committed fathers are essential ingredients for healthy children, healthy families, and healthy societies.

Showing up, sticking around, and discipling and loving children as only a father can, is a powerful witness to the beautiful design and the steadfast love of our own heavenly Father. Every child needs and deserves one. Let’s encourage fathers to do this important job this Father’s Day and into the future.

Peter Downie
National Director