‘Priceless’ delivers a powerful message on human trafficking, asking women ‘how much are you worth’
How much is another human being worth? Grammy award-winning band for KING & COUNTRY produced their first film with Priceless, asking this very question. Joel Smallbone stars as James in events inspired by the story of James Stevens with brother, Ben Smallbone director and his other brother, Luke producing.
James is a good man, reeling from the sudden death of his wife and losing custody of his daughter. Desperate, James agrees to drive a box truck on a cross country for cash – no questions asked. “Whatcha haulin’ there, son?” the man behind the convenience store register asks. “Nothing” James says, but what James is “haulin'” is two women.
Antonia (Bianca Santos) and Maria (Amber Midthunder) star are two sisters who mistakenly believe they are going to find work in the States, but when James arrives, the truth is quickly revealed – he’s been sucked into the horrific world of human trafficking and Garo (Jim Parrack), the leader of this local prostitution ring just acquired these two innocent girls.
David Koechner plays Dale, a Christian motel owner who stands up to criminals and presses James to do the right thing, seek out the truth in life and ultimately try to save the women.
Joel Smallbone is fantastic and Ben Smallbone uses fantastic cinematography to tell an impactful, powerful story. The story is slow paced, by design, but can be tedious for some viewers. Unlike heavy-handed faith based films, Priceless strikes a perfect balance of pressing Christian theology, a relationship with Christ, finding redemption and salvation without disrupting the story with a sermon or lecture.
The score is fantastic and showcases the musical talents of for KING & COUNTRY without resorting to becoming a string of music videos. The cast is great with the exception of Parrack who isn’t believable as the character. I don’t know if it is bad casting or a poor performance.
Ignored by mainstream critics, Priceless is a great film for 2016. Human trafficking is a shocking travesty in our society and the film accurately puts the story in our neighborhoods, at a local motel and centers around regular people struggling through life.
In the end, the message is clear: The value of “every life … man, woman, boy, and girl is incredibly, undoubtedly, completely priceless.”
Priceless receives 4 out of 5 stars