In a recent interview on CBC Radio, pop culture columnist Radheyan Simonpillai described the success of the new hit film “Sound of Freedom” can be attributed to “Xenophobic, Pro-Trump, Pro-Life types.”
The film, which has sold-out shows across the United States and Canada, is about former Homeland Security agent Tim Ballard who founded Operation Underground Railroad in order to take down child trafficking rings in South America.
The film stars actor Jim Caviezel, who is most notably known for his portrayal as Jesus of Nazareth in “The Passion of The Christ.”
“We can’t say that the movie itself is made by QAnon types,” said Simompalli on the podcast, which aired on CBC Listen. “But certainly, their political goals make it something that QAnon conspiracy theorists would rally behind.”
“Just like racists rallied behind Trump without him having to say anything overtly racist.”
Simonpalli describes his experience visiting a Toronto screening of the film where he polled viewers asking what brought them to see the film.
He found that most viewers were recommended to see the film by American friends, church groups, and even Jordan Peterson’s podcast.
“You would have only heard about this movie if you are a regular among church groups, or you regularly watch Fox News, or if you follow right-wing personalities,” said Simonpillai. “Or if you are a QAnon conspiracy theorist or part of the so-called Freedom movements.”
“But make no mistake,” Simonpillia continued. “The movie’s success has a lot to do with it being a dog whistle for Xenophobic, Pro-Trump, Pro-Life types.”
“It’s not just QAnon types rallying behind this movie,” he said. “There were people who attended it because they were encouraged by their online freedom rally groups.”
“Sound of Freedom” has also received criticism from legacy media outlets in the United States.
Rolling Stone magazine described the film as “promoting conspiracy theories” and criticizes the film for being an inaccurate portrayal of real child trafficking rings, citing that it focuses heavily on young children instead of adolescents.
The Guardian accused Caviezel of “parroting falsehoods” and “scaremongering” during his promotion of the film and that “all of it points back to a foundation of conspiratorial thought targeting the Jewish and transgender communities.”
For its low budget of less than $15 million, “Sound of Freedom” has grossed a whopping $45 million worldwide since its release on July 4th. Canadian showtimes were originally set to end on Thursday, but have since been extended due to popular demand.