Severino joined members of Smith’s staff to write the draft legislation to address sex trafficking. Smith is expected to introduce it during the current legislative session. According to Severino, if the proposed legislation is approved, it would require the FBI and various federal agencies to report on the status of the missing children.
Verástegui, who is considering a possible run in his native country’s presidential election, said: “I bring the heart of Mexico with me here, to the heart of America, to you, the most important decision-makers in the country. And in the name of all the children of my country and of the children of all Latin America who have been hurt by this crime of trafficking, especially the more than 85,000 who have disappeared in this country, I ask you to do what is in your power to find them.”
While some legacy media have labeled the film “right-wing” and Ballard’s strategies have been questioned by other anti-trafficking groups, “Sound of Freedom” has been seen by more than 12 million in the U.S. and is due to be released in South Africa on Aug. 18, New Zealand and Australia on Aug. 24, and in Latin America on Aug. 31. In September it will be shown in the United Kingdom and Ireland, and in October in Spain.
Film distributor Angel Studios, which is also responsible for “The Chosen,” has received requests for distribution from more than 90 countries worldwide.
Production of the film started in 2015 and was completed in 2019. The pandemic — and refusals by Disney, Netflix, and Amazon to distribute the film — delayed the film’s release, leading to a commitment by Angel Studios to get it to viewers.
It was No. 1 on the day it premiered in U.S. theaters on July 4 and on July 10 and 11, beating other popular movies such as Disney’s “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny.”
The film scored 70% on Rotten Tomatoes. Film reviewer Nestor Betancor called it “a competently crafted and acted dramatic thriller that effectively puts a spotlight on a tragic real-life issue.”
Owen Gleiberman of Variety Magazine wrote: “Let’s assume that, like me, you’re not a right-wing fundamentalist conspiracy theorist looking for a dark, faith-based suspense film to see over the holiday weekend … Even then, you needn’t hold extreme beliefs to experience ‘Sound of Freedom’ as a compelling movie that shines an authentic light on one of the crucial criminal horrors of our time, one that Hollywood has mostly shied away from.”