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Hope Has a Home in Hollywood: SOUND OF FREEDOM One Year Later

Poster courtesy of MPA

Hope Has a Home in Hollywood: SOUND OF FREEDOM One Year Later

By Movieguide® Contributor

Against the advice of experts, SOUND OF FREEDOM debuted exactly one year ago, taking the box office by storm and providing hope to the millions enslaved in the human trafficking industry.

Fourth of July weekend is often dominated by tentpole movies released by studios who look to take advantage of the long weekend and drum up interest for the rest of the summer. Last year was no different; Disney released INDIANA JONES AND THE DIAL OF DESTINY, DreamWorks released RUBY GILLMAN: TEENAGE KRAKEN and Disney Animation’s ELEMENTAL cruised into its third week in theaters. However, as these movies looked to cash in on the holiday, a little-known movie hoped to make a statement: “God’s children are not for sale.”

Without the wallet of a major studio, SOUND OF FREEDOM would go on to top the box office on Independence Day, as the movie began to expose the prevalence of human trafficking, which has become prominent worldwide and has a particularly strong presence on American soil.

In the coming weeks, the movie extended its stay in theaters multiple times, as millions of Americans had their eyes opened to the evil the movie exposed. SOUND OF FREEDOM’s success ended up boosting it to an international release, further increasing the spread and impact of its message.

When all was said and done, the movie ended up placing as the No. 10 movie of the year, beating out all of its competition from the Fourth, which the makers of the movie were told would smother it if it released during the holiday. The legacy of SOUND OF FREEDOM, however, extends far beyond its monetary success.

Law enforcement officers who fight human trafficking every day have found themselves with more resources than ever thanks to the awareness raised by the movie. For example, riding on the publicity from SOUND OF FREEDOM, Tim Tebow — who has been working to fight human trafficking for years — testified before Congress this March to urge them to set aside funds to create a task force that works to pursue the tens of thousands of kids on American soil that are trapped in the trafficking industry.

Legislation like this is unlikely to have been considered by lawmakers in the past, despite the size of the issue, because human trafficking was not in the public eye. However, thanks to the movie, Congress is now facing pressure to put a stop to the horrible industry that is thriving in the U.S.

Additionally, SOUND OF FREEDOM has proven, yet again, that Christians will show up for movies that promote their values. Emboldened by the success of the movie, Amazon’s MGM studios, Sony Pictures and 21st Century Fox have all launched faith-based legs, with Netflix promising to bring more Christian content to its platform as well.

Movieguide® recognized SOUND OF FREEDOM’s impact on the entertainment industry, presenting it the Teddy Award® for Faith and Freedom at this year’s Movieguide® Gala.

The success of SOUND OF FREEDOM has also inspired Angel Studios — the distributor of the movie — to expose another mechanism in America that is causing hundreds of thousands of kids to suffer: the foster care system.

This year’s movie, SOUND OF HOPE: THE STORY OF POSSUM TROT, tells the true story of a church community that answered God’s call and adopted 77 of the hardest-to-place kids who were suffering in the system. Again looking to make a statement about the core values of America, POSSUM TROT is releasing on July 4 to declare that American values are for all Americans, not just the privileged.

Movieguide® previously reported:

Angel Studios’ upcoming release, SOUND OF HOPE: THE STORY OF POSSUM TROT, hopes to change the lives of children in the foster care system.

The film will be released in theaters on July 4, 2024, and follows the true story of Donna and Reverend Martin who encouraged their community to help children in the foster care system. Their drive led families to adopt 77 children in need of homes.

BLACK PANTHER star Letitia Wright produced the movie and shared her love for this story.

“I was told about the Martin family in Possum Trot, Texas a few years ago. Immediately I was moved by their compassion and love towards helping children within the foster care system, I found a similar feeling of purpose and desire for change alongside the director and writer who have known the Martins for many years,” she said in a press release. “This film will connect to hearts all over the world and will bring real impact and change for children not only in America but across the world.”

Writer and producer Rebekah Weigel reflected on the immense need in the foster care system and how the Martins’ church made a huge difference.


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