By Amanda Mason
As a mother of four, this film hit home in so many ways. Some I expected to feel after seeing the trailer, but others hit home in unexpected ways. In mid-August, my husband and I had the chance to go on a date night, and I decided to see this movie even though I knew it would not be particularly romantic. Regardless, we either went together or I went alone because I was so desperate to see it. I am so glad my husband chose to come with me to see this film, and he was just as emotionally impacted by this film and the subject matter it contained as I was.
The film is about human trafficking and the impact it is having all over the world, but especially in poorer countries around the globe. It stars Jim Caviezel, the actor who also played Jesus in the film The Passion of Christ (2004), as well as Bill Camp and Mira Sorvino. Angel Studios, the company behind The Chosen and Jesus Resurrection, His Only Son, as well as other Christian-themed television programs and motion pictures, also produced the movie. To date, the movie has made $231 million at the box office. It was supported by ordinary people who believe that media like this should be available to the general public, and I wholeheartedly agree. I hope you will also look at what projects Angel Studio’s has helped create or is currently helping to create.
I do not want to give away the entire story of the movie; instead, you can google it and see the trailer for yourself. You might also soon be able to watch the movie online via Netflix or the studio’s own website. The movie is about child trafficking, but it is really about how all people are generally forced into servitude, first as children and then as workers for illegal industries like picking cocaine leaves, which you see in the movie. It also demonstrates the participants in the structure of these rings, from the neighbourhood guy setting up online dates with his clients to the local law enforcement’s efforts and lack of resources to simply smuggling and displaying child porn online. The list goes on and on, and at the conclusion of the movie, a few sentences informed the audience that the US alone is home to a $2 billion per year trafficking industry. The total amount compared to other nations is undoubtedly enormous. It is unfortunate, but it is true. And deserves our attention, not just as Christians but as human beings in general. What is happening across the world is not the case anymore; this is happening in our own backyards and can no longer be ignored.
The conclusion of my review will be personal, and what surprised me the most was that, while what was happening on screen was horrific to watch and emotionally made me sad, I was almost immune to it in some ways. As a female who has worked in the entertainment industry, I can attest that this is something that occurs frequently. Even if I were to train to be a pastor, women would still be viewed as inferior or, in some circles, as the salves under their husband’s rule. My husband was also deeply moved by the film, and he identified with the man whose children are kidnapped, as my husband takes his role as provider and protector seriously. Believe me when I say that the movie was not just focused on the sexual assault of young girls but on the sexual assaults on both genders, which were equally horrifying. My husband is the father of two daughters and two sons, and I don’t think he realized how both genders are equally in demand by predators in this world. Many societies—not just those in the third world or with low levels of education—still operate in this manner. In reality, everything from early education to the business world to our family structures exhibits this in our open society.
The fact that I was numb to this now is what I found most sad to me personally. The abuse of young girls, but also of very young boys, shocked him, and our conversation was very real about our children, our society, and how or what we can do about it. For that reason alone, I feel you should see the movies about singles, married couples, young adults, and older adults. The slavery that goes on now with a new word called traffiking is still very real, very scary, and very wrong, and as Christians, we do need to try to do something and stand up for those who cannot stand up for themselves both internationally and in our own communities. Please go see this movie; it will speak to your heart, to your spirit, and to your mind, and I promise you that you will see God’s tears when you watch this movie. However, I hope most of all you will feel Jesus love in your heart and hopefully do something about this issue, or at the very least recommend the movie to someone else, as the children need the sound of our voices, not our silence.