The controversial movie “Sound of Freedom” is set to open in Philippine theaters this week.
“Sound of Freedom” is a crime drama about former US government agent Tim Ballard, played by Jim Caviezel, as he rescues kidnapped and enslaved children from sex traffickers in Colombia.
The film is inspired by the story of Ballard, a Special Agent for the US Homeland Security Investigations. He also founded anti-sex trafficking organization Operation Underground Railways.
Directed and written by Alejandro Monteverde, the movie also stars Mira Sorvino, Bill Camp, John Rhys-Davies, and Michael Roark.
“Sound of Freedom” became a surprise hit, earning over $180 million at the US box office, well past its reported $14.5 million.
This is despite the criticism it faced following the movie’s release. Reviews have criticized “Sound of Freedom” for oversimplifying child trafficking. It was also hit for focusing on child abductions done by strangers, although reports say that majority of child trafficking is exploited by people the victims know.
The film was also criticized for promoting the spread of unverified child endangerment conspiracy theories.
In an interview, director Monteverde defended his film, stating that “Sound of Freedom” intends to inform people about the threat of child sex trafiicking.
He told NBC News: “I do think it’s very important that we protect our children, but not [just] American children or Mexican children. I think children should not have a nationality. They should be a world heritage because it will have a ripple effect. If a child gets abused in Russia or in Haiti, eventually that pain will travel.”
“Sound of Freedom” opens in local theaters on Wednesday, September 20.
Meanwhile, the South Korean dark comedy “Cobweb” also opens in Philippine theaters this October.
“Cobweb” tells the tale of a director in the 1970s haunted by the desire to reshoot the ending of his latest film. Chaos ensues when complications arise on the film set.
The film stars Song Kang-ho, known for his role in the Academy Award-winning 2019 film “Parasite,” with Lim Soo-jung (“A Tale of Two Sisters”), Oh Jung-se (“It’s Okay Not To Be Okay”), and Jeon Yeo-been (“Vincenzo”), among others.
“Cobweb” premiered at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.
It will open in Philippine cinemas on October 4.
“Sound of Freedom” and “Cobweb” are distributed in the Philippines by TBA Studios.
In an interview with the STAR, Daphne Chiu, president and COO of TBA Studios, said that their decision to screen the films in Philippine cinemas is part of their goal to drive moviegoers back to the theaters.
“So, I’m happy iba-iba siya (the roster of titles),” Chiu said of their film offerings. TBA Studios, a film production company known for its films “Heneral Luna” and “I’m Drunk, I Love You,” also brought to local theaters the romantic drama film “Past Lives,” which is already in its third week in cinemas. —Chuck Smith