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The movie, Sound of Freedom, has received a lot of media attention since its release. A quick web search of this title will bring up all sorts of opinions, accusations, bashing, defenses, and hyperbole.

Had we known it would become such a divisive film that further separates the right from the left, the conspiracy believers from the conspiracy deniers, and so on, we may have reconsidered booking this. Not because we believe in censuring what you can view but because we don’t want to be the flashpoint for so much anger and inflammatory social media hype. During the pandemic, we received plenty of that backlash (along with hate mail and death threats). It was upsetting and disappointing and made us seriously question why we owned a movie theatre in the first place.

This movie is about human trafficking, specifically of children. It’s about the most horrible aspects of child sexual abuse you could imagine. It makes your skin crawl and your eyes burn. It may or may not be related to conspiracy theories. It may or may not be a vehicle to attract believers of such conspiracies. We’re playing the movie and letting you decide.

Child sexual abuse is real, just as human trafficking is real, and just as there are people in this world whose acts are evil and beyond the scope of normal, natural human beings. This movie portrays that and the way it plays out in foreign countries, most notably in this film, Honduras.

However, child sexual abuse is just as likely (statistically, much more likely) to be taking place in the homes of people you may know. That’s not to say the abuse is any more vile or unimaginable. Any abuse of a child is unforgivable. That child can be damaged for life (unlike the way these abused children are portrayed in this movie, laughing and singing within hours of being released from their torturers).

Why did we choose to show this movie? Because it stars someone that many local people know and went to school with. Because a lot of people let us know they were interested in watching it. Because we don’t like to shy away from hard topics if a film might educate or raise awareness.

Are we sorry to have booked The Sound of Freedom? Only if our audience members believe we have an agenda or if people walk out feeling we’ve exposed them to propaganda.

If you see the film and are upset, horrified, shocked, baffled, or simply curious, we strongly encourage you to research the issue (using credible, unbiased sources).

If you’re motivated to help protect children from sexual abuse or trafficking, please do not rely on a movie studio to point you in the best direction. (news flash: their main goal is to sell movie tickets). Talk to a local expert, or volunteer for a local agency that’s designed to help kids in abusive situations, like Skagit Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Agency. If you suspect a child is being abused, do not hesitate to call 911 or the local Child Protective Service.

And if you’re angry about us showing this movie at the Concrete Theatre, please keep in mind that over the last 13 years, we have shown all kinds of films, some good, some bad, some you hated or were offended by, others that your neighbors hated or offended by. Your tolerance, maturity, and respect for others are deeply appreciated.

“Think for yourself and let others enjoy the privilege of doing so too.”
― Voltaire