During a hearing this week of a subcommittee that’s part of the House Judiciary Committee, a witness decried the messages promoted by the recently released movie “Sound of Freedom,” which — though not a documentary — purports to relay a story of rescuing victims of sex trafficking. The movie has been criticized for claimed sensationalism in its presentation that doesn’t actually reflect the realities of the tragic, real-world circumstances of human trafficking — but that does support certain far-right narratives.
In these dubious narratives, those adhering to such political approaches are valiantly fighting perhaps unseen global forces tied to familiar targets for the far-right, like globalism and Democrats. A star of the movie has referenced conspiracy theories associated with QAnon in commentary of his — but “Sound of Freedom” has nonetheless been relentlessly promoted by political figures like Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.).
“I think that, when we are at a time where there’s a lack of education and awareness around what human trafficking looks like, I think a lot of people get this idea of what is depicted in a film like the “Sound of Freedom,”” Jose Alfaro told subcommittee members this week. “And a lot of the messages that I got and responses that I got were that because I did not agree with what was depicted in the film, that I was a pedophile or a trafficker myself because I didn’t agree with it. And that is extremely harmful, when you have people with lived experience who are sharing what has happened to them, and what is truly happening right here within the United States, and people aren’t willing to listen.”
Alfaro serves on the Board of Directors at what’s called the Human Trafficking Legal Center. “I can’t understand why anyone would say anything negative about a movie that’s trying to expose child sex trafficking, especially when it involves our United States border,” Greene has said at an earlier hearing in the House. She then asked one of the witnesses if child sex trafficking was a conspiracy theory. Those concerned about “Sound of Freedom” have not claimed the underlying reality of human trafficking of any form is simply a conspiracy theory.