Sound of Freedom: the Faces of Human Trafficking | OUR Rescue (2024)

“Sound of Freedom” is an award-winning film that depicts both real-life and dramatized rescue missions to help save children who are being sex trafficked across the globe. Some of these stories are based on the actual work of O.U.R.’s partnership with law enforcement to bring criminal traffickers to justice.Others are based on similar missions in other locales.

The rescue operation on the island in Colombia really happened.

The movie shows a raid on an island to rescue children from a large trafficking ring. In real life, this was one of three coordinated operations that happened that day in Colombia, conducted by O.U.R. in conjunction with Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). In total, 123 survivors were rescued, 55 of which were minors. Known as “Operation Triple Take,” it remains O.U.R.’s largest rescues to date. “Sound of Freedom” depicts the rescue that happened just outside of Cartagena, where approximately 50 victims were rescued. In the movie, all the survivors are children, but in real life not all of them were minors.

The character “Fuego” in the film is based on a real person who was arrested during Operation Triple Take. An undercover operator for O.U.R. negotiated directly with him. Fuego wore a hat in tribute to Che Guevara, a Marxist revolutionary. When asked about it, he boasted, “Because I’m the revolutionary in selling girls.”

During the final showdown with Fuego in Operation Triple Take, just before law enforcement arrived, the O.U.R. operator asked if he could borrow his hat. This was symbolic of the end of Fuego’s revolution.

Earlier that year, O.U.R. had already conducted operations in Haiti, Cartagena, and the Dominican Republic, with Operation Triple Take as its fourth mission.

Operation Triple Take ended up winning HSI’s case of the year in 2015, an operation they called “Clear Hope.”

“Giselle” is based on a real person.

The start of the film shows a woman named “Giselle” recruiting a young girl and her brother for what their father believes is a modeling opportunity. The character of Giselle is loosely based on a woman who was a former beauty pageant queen and professional model in her early twenties, known as “Miss Cartagena”.

The woman’s reputation gave her credibility with young girls and boys. As a former beauty pageant queen and trained social worker, she was admired and trusted as a leader in her impoverished community.

The woman was arrested and accused of using her standing to lure children away from their families with false promises and recruiting and trafficking children.

The children portrayed in the movie were actual survivors of trafficking.

The film depicts many different children who are shown as victims of sex trafficking. The characters represent real people O.U.R. and its law enforcement partners have helped rescue. The story of the little boy, known in the movie as “Teddy,” is one of the most memorable and heart-wrenching.

In the film, after an O.U.R. operator rescues Teddy, the boy gives him a dog-tag type necklace inscribed with “Timoteo”, a scripture reference to 1 Timothy 6:11, and the words “Man of God”. True to the real story, the little boy’s sister had given her brother this necklace before they were separated to symbolize the hope of rescue.

Although Teddy’s sister is a person in real life, the story of O.U.R. refusing to give up the search to find “the one,” as depicted in the film, is based on the true story of O.U.R.’s long-time search for achild in Haiti named Gardy.

The character “Vampiro” is based on a real person.

The character of “Vampiro,” also known as “Batman,” is based on a real person. Many of the things said about him when he is introduced in the film are allegedly true, except when it says he spent time in jail. The real Batman has never been to prison.

In the film, Batman says he changed his life and joined the fight against sex trafficking because he had sex with a prostitute and then realized she was a 14-year-old girl. He says this almost drove him to suicide until God intervened and he redirected his efforts. This is largely true, except for the part where he says he had sex with a 14-year old girl. In real life, the woman he had sex with was an adult trafficking victim, and he realized that her young daughter was being exploited while she was away. That experience drove him to join the fight.

Batman was involved with Operation Triple Take, but he did not participate in the Cartagena Operation, as depicted in the movie. On that day, he was leading another Operation Triple Take mission in Medellín, Colombia.

Separating Fact from Fictionalization

The following stories of human trafficking were depicted in the film, but are based on other actual operations conducted by O.U.R.

The O.U.R. Operator who went into a Colombian jungle by himself to rescue a little girl is based on events that occurred in Haiti.

In the film, an O.U.R. operator poses as a doctor and goes into a Colombian jungle to find the little boy’s sister shortly after Operation Triple Take. This did not happen. However, in real life, a group of O.U.R. operators, posing as doctors, went into a jungle on the border of Haiti and the Dominican Republic a few years after Operation Triple Take in search for Gardy.

While no one was rescued in that operation, it advanced the search for Gardy and other trafficking victims, and operators were able to provide medical care to many children in need.

This story is a dramatization of what human trafficking typically looks like.

The start of the film shows security camera footage of several different kidnappings. This is real footage, and while this type of human trafficking exists, it is less common. When we hear the phrase “sex trafficking,” we often picture dark alleyways in foreign countries where orphaned children from the streets are kidnapped, exploited, and sold. While that is a horrific reality, it is also important to understand that sex trafficking is not just a foreign issue, but an acute and ever increasing domestic concern within the United States.

According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, human trafficking has been reported in all 50 states (NCMEC, 2022). Predators can be soccer coaches and trusted teachers, neighbors across the street, or uncles and aunts.

The film also depicts children in shipping containers. It is important to note that Hollywood took creative license in portraying the different ways that children can be trafficked. While cases exist where trafficking includes physically transporting children in vehicles, most trafficking happens through a manipulative grooming process. “Sound of Freedom” illustrates how this process works in the child modeling scenes where children (and sometimes their parents) are deceived into believing that they can make money by modeling. The grooming process can also involve promises of food for going to the trafficker’s house or love if they become the trafficker’s boyfriend or girlfriend. It is vital for parents, young adults, teens, and children to know the signs of grooming so they can recognize when someone may have ill intent.

Don’t let your guard down – stay vigilant and protect your loved ones from these dangerous tactics.

While O.U.R. was not involved in the production of “Sound of Freedom”, we are proud of the work we do every day with law enforcement to help rescue victims of human trafficking and lock up their predators.

We did not have a consulting role in the movie or have approval rights. We also did not have any financial ownership or share in the revenue profits of the film.

If you’d like to support and continue to advance O.U.R. mission, you can help make adifference in the fightto end human trafficking.

Sound of Freedom: the Faces of Human Trafficking | OUR Rescue (2024)


Is Sound of Freedom legit? ›

“Sound of Freedom” was based on a true story but contains dramatized elements. Filmmakers took creative license in portraying the different ways that children can be trafficked, including in shipping containers.

Why is Sound of Freedom banned? ›

One of the primary points of contention revolves around the film's portrayal of child trafficking. Experts, including Erin Albright, a former fellow for the Department of Justice's anti-trafficking task force, argue that the depiction is inaccurate and sensationalized.

What are human trafficking answers? ›

Human trafficking involves the use of force, fraud, or coercion to obtain some type of labor or commercial sex act. Every year, millions of men, women, and children are trafficked worldwide – including right here in the United States.

Who was the female trafficking in Sound of Freedom? ›

Played By Yessica Borroto

Katy-Giselle is a former beauty queen and one of the sex traffickers in Sound of Freedom. Using her beauty queen credentials, she lures her victims to a fake audition. She then persuades their parents to leave them with her during the "audition" and eventually sells them into slavery.

Where do profits from Sound of Freedom go? ›

THE $5 MILLION RAISED FOR the distribution of Sound of Freedom went directly to Angel Studios — not the filmmakers.

How much does Sound of Freedom cost? ›

It has grossed $250 million against a $14.5 million budget. It received mixed reviews from critics, while audience reception was highly positive. The film attracted considerable attention for its connections to the QAnon conspiracy theory.

Why did Disney block Sound of Freedom? ›

Putting to bed any ideas some may have that the studio buried Sound of Freedom intentionally, Monteverde explains that it was merely a victim of circ*mstance following the major deal between Fox and the Walt Disney Company.

Why didn't Sound of Freedom get released? ›

The film was actually completed in 2018 and was set for release by 20th Century Fox. But then Disney came in and bought Fox and shelved the movie. So the film's producers had to self-fund trying to buy back the film from Disney which they were successful in doing.

How much of Sound of Freedom was true? ›

“I would dare to say that 75% of the film is as accurate as it happened in real life,” the director told the outlet. “There's a good 25% that I had to take creative license [with] to just be able to take all these years of his life into an hour-and-a-half or two hours that the movie is.”

What are the 4 P's of human trafficking? ›

USAID's Counter-Trafficking in Persons (C-TIP) approach follows the 4Ps: Prevention of trafficking, Protection of victims and survivors, Prosecution of traffickers, and Partnerships for a strengthened response.

What are the 3 P's of human trafficking? ›

The “3P” paradigm—prosecution, protection, and prevention—continues to serve as the fundamental framework used around the world to combat human trafficking.

What is the lawsuit against the Sound of Freedom? ›

(Image from court filing) — Kely Johana Suarez Moya, on the left, sued Tim Ballard and the makers of "Sound of Freedom," alleging the movie's depiction of her as a child-sex-trafficking "monster" was defamatory and slanderous because she was never involved in trafficking.

How to respond to the Sound of Freedom? ›

What to Do After "Sound of Freedom"
  1. Be on the lookout for signs of human trafficking. ...
  2. Pray and organize prayer groups to pray for the victims of trafficking and their families and to pray for individuals and organizations involved in rescuing.

Why is Sound of Freedom being boycotted? ›

Sound of Freedom itself has also been criticized by anti-trafficking experts for providing a "false perception" of child trafficking and promoting "rescue" tactics that may actually put real victims in danger.

Who are the real people from Sound of Freedom? ›

14 guest column for The Hollywood Reporter, director Monteverde and co-writer Rod Barr wrote: “Everyone who has seen Sound of Freedom knows that the movie itself is not in the least political. It is based on the story of a real person, Tim Ballard, who quit his job at Homeland Security to rescue trafficked children.

How many people actually watched Sound of Freedom? ›

AMC Theaters CEO Adam Aron has pushed back on claims that people are not actually seeing “Sound of Freedom.” “More than ONE MILLION people have watched Sound of Freedom at AMC Theatres.

Is vampiro from Sound of Freedom real? ›

The character “Vampiro” is based on a real person.

The character of “Vampiro,” also known as “Batman,” is based on a real person. Many of the things said about him when he is introduced in the film are allegedly true, except when it says he spent time in jail.

Did Disney own rights to Sound of Freedom? ›

Verástegui confirmed in an exclusive interview with Newsweek that Disney did in fact temporarily own the rights to Sound of Freedom after its acquisition of 20th Century.

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