A military base in Florida made national headlines this month after it canceled two free screenings of the hit film “Sound of Freedom.”
U.S. Southern Command pulled the planned screenings for its soldiers due to copyright concerns — at least, that’s what base leadership said at first.
Speaking with Fox News this week, producer Eduardo Verástegui said the filmmakers had no problem with “Sound of Freedom” being shown at the base and communicated that to SOUTHCOM via email.
SOUTHCOM declined anyway, giving another reason for its decision not to screen the film.
“Because the film is already accessible in local theaters, we are respectfully declining the offer to screen it at our headquarters,” a SOUTHCOM spokesperson said in an email to a filmmaker.
Verástegui, who announced a run for president of Mexico this month, was disappointed by the news.
“I made ‘Sound of Freedom’ to raise awareness of the rampant sex trafficking in children happening throughout Latin America and into the United States with the goal of ending this modern-day slave trade,” he told Fox.
“Because SOUTHCOM’s brave soldiers work to break up the transnational criminal organizations responsible for drug and sex-trafficking into the U.S., we wanted to inspire and thank them for their service by offering a private screening on base.”
The producer added that he was “willing to get on a plane if needed tomorrow” with Tim Ballard, the inspiration for the movie, “to deliver a copy of the film to the troops,” Fox reported.
“We are hopeful this matter will be resolved soon so that the troops can gather together and be touched like the tens of millions of other Americans and people around the world who have seen this film and are saying with one voice that God’s children are not for sale,” Verástegui said.
Upon opening in 18 Latin American countries, the film took the No. 1 spot at the region’s box office.
“Sound of Freedom” tells the story of Ballard, played by Jim Caviezel, as he goes undercover in Colombia to rescue children from sex trafficking.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.