Seal of Approval

Sound of Hope: The Story of Possum Trot

Network: Theater Release

Production Companies: Angel Studios

Producers: Tiffany FitzHenry, Nika King, Joe Knittig, Don Mandrik, Letitia Wright

Creators: Joshua Weigel, Rebekah Weigel

Sound of Hope: The Story of Possum Trot is the inspiring true story of a small East Texas community that rescued 77 at-risk and difficult-to-place children from the foster care system.

After the death of her mother Donna Martin feels called by God to adopt children and attends an informational meeting about fostering. Presented with heart-breaking stories of the neglect and abuse endured by children in the system, Donna and her husband Bishop Martin take in three children, and share the call to foster with their church and community. Soon, nearly everyone in the small town of Possum Trot has agreed to take-in one or more children; resulting in the placement of 77 children with 22 families.

Because of the heavy subject matter, Sound of Hope is not recommended for the youngest members of the family. There are discussions of the trauma, sexual and physical abuse these children have suffered in their young lives. During the presentation on foster care pictures are shown of children covered in bites from bed bugs, children with bruised bodies and cuts on their faces and black eyes. Terri, a 12-year-old girl who comes to live with the Martins, was raped by her mother’s boyfriend and acts-out sexually. In one scene she is in a bathroom stall at school with a boy and viewers see a piece of her clothing drop to the floor. Sex is strongly implied, but not shown. Terri also sleeps with a knife under her pillow for protection, a reaction to the abuse she faced as a young child. Another child calls 9-1-1 when her mother is being hit by a man. The man is shown pulling a gun and firing; the mother’s body collapses to the floor and bullets come through the bathroom wall where the child is hiding. The violence is implied, rather than explicitly shown. In addition, there were a few instances of relatively mild profanity (*ss and b*tch).

Despite these content considerations, Sound of Hope is a deeply moving and inspiring film. It is ultimately a story of faith, family, courage, community, tenacity, and hope. The families in Possum Trot were not rich. Many were struggling to make ends meet even before taking on the responsibility of caring for additional children, but they made sacrifices and came together as a community to support one another because these children needed their help, needed homes, and needed adults in their lives that they could trust, and who would care for them and love them.





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