While Sound of Freedom — and many other films — show heroes rescuing those caught in sex slavery, Don’t Say My Name starts with a slave escaping and focuses on the challenging journey of healing.
Sound of Freedom continues to knock down films known as “tent poles” because they’re expected to carry the other films. Production companies know 60% of their films won’t turn a profit. Producers are praying their indie film will be the Uncle Tom’s Cabin that takes down modern slavery. It’s off to a great start, doing better at the box office than Indiana Jones, Mission: Impossible, and other films with larger budgets that opened just before or after Sound of Freedom. As I’m writing, it’s never fallen out of the top five films since it opened on the Fourth of July, and it’s estimated to have had about 5% of the budget of Mission: Impossible’s latest offering.
The award-winning film Don’t Say My Name is riding this wave of success. It was released on YouTube on July 21, and has more than 1.3 million views. As people are awakening to the reality that two million children are trafficked in the world, Don’t Say My Name is shifting the focus of intercessors from freedom to healing.
I interviewed three of the creatives about why this is so important: Marty Jean-Louis produced the film; Brooklyn Wittmer played the lead role of a 15-year-old girl with a dream of becoming a professional dancer who is kidnapped into sex slavery; and Cameron Arnett (who we’ve covered in three articles) plays Special Agent Colbert.
Here’s the interview:
Here’s a trailer:
Though the material is handled very sensitively, parents of younger children should be aware of the thematic content involving sex trafficking, violence, smoking, sexual references, and some drug references. There was no profanity or blasphemy. There is one scene that could be quite frightening to younger viewers.
I saw it with fellow IFA contributing writer Joyce Swingle, and we agree that teens — with proper preparation and debrief — may be able to handle this film. It could do even more in a young person’s prayer/action trajectory than for those of us who already know what’s going on. At the same time, it is an intense movie. Joyce wrote an excellent article about debriefing from this vicarious trauma.
Here’s the full film:
IFA has an excellent Special Report, “The Dark World of Human Trafficking,” and also makes it easy to request your representatives in Congress take action to help stop trafficking. Click here or find it under the Action tab at www.IFApray.org.
Post your reactions to the film and your prayers that it be healing for those who have escaped slavery, and that it also set the captives free.
Rich Swingle has taught and performed in 39 nations on six continents, mostly with his own one-man plays. He has performed in more than 45 film projects. He and his bride, Joyce Swingle, another contributing writer for IFA, have 41 “screen children.” The Swingles live in New York City. Read more at www.RichDrama.com. Photo Credit: Tim Tebow Foundation on Unsplash.