The U.S. Southern Command has canceled two planned free screenings of the blockbuster movie “Sound of Freedom.”
Although military officials said that the cancellation had to do with copyright laws, a report by Military Times indicated that opposition to the film was based on something else.
“What is the idea and the ideology behind putting this on a military installation? Is this some form of indoctrination into an ideology of extremism?” consultant Sunnetta Slaughter asked, according to Military Times.
Slaughter was referring to allegations linking actor Jim Caviezel, who stars in the film, to QAnon.
“Although the directors say they don’t support it, the fact that they have their main person constantly referencing and leaning to a particular ideology is concerning for the film, and for the context and conversation around the film,” she said, adding that she was not pleased with the film’s overt support of Christianity.
Apparently as an explanation of the term “QAnon,” the Military Times story linked to a July NPR story claiming Caviezel is “a prominent promoter of the false, violent QAnon conspiracy theory — specifically, the baseless claim that an international cabal of elites is abusing and killing children to extract a substance called adrenochrome.”
Military Times published its story under the label “Extremism & Disinformation” with the headline, “QAnon-embraced film pulled from screening on-base at SOUTHCOM.”
However, in speaking to The Hill, officials said the free Aug. 28 and Oct. 19 screenings had to be scrapped due to “applicable laws and regulations governing the use of materials subject to copyright and intellectual property laws for official or recreational purposes.”
“Insofar as the film is concerned, following this review, a determination was made to cancel the screenings,” Army Col. Emanuel Ortiz said in the statement.
“Individuals interested in viewing the film can still do so at a local theater of their choosing. The now-canceled screening was intended to help raise awareness of the nexus between [transnational criminal organizations] and human rights abuses they frequently commit as part of their human smuggling activities,” which sometimes falls within SOUTHCOM’s area of responsibility,” the statement said.
SOUTHCOM is one of 11 military commands in the Department of Defense, responsible for U.S. military operations in Central and South America and the Caribbean.
Ortiz said the film had been picked by officials “after concluding it could help raise awareness of human rights issues closely associated with the nefarious activities of transnational criminal organizations … operating in Central America, South America and the Caribbean, where SOUTHCOM closely partners with Host Nations to counter the threat posed by those violent criminal groups to our hemisphere and its citizens.”
The goal of the screenings, he said, was to “educate and inform our members of these issues depicted in the movie’s central story.”
Military Times noted that when the screenings were announced, the flyer noted at the bottom that, “The showing of this film does not imply or constitute endorsement by the U.S. Army nor SOUTHCOM.”