A central part of the story of Priceless, a new fall film & companion novel, , from the Smallbone brothers who make up the Grammy-winning band for KING & COUNTRY, is the issue of human trafficking.
Joel Smallbone, who in addition to co-producing the movie with his brother Luke, also stars as the main character James Stevens, shares the heart behind the film’s focus.
“If you turn the lens in, and you just ask the simple question: If we are image bearers of God, and we are all individual and unique and we are all priceless, then what is the antithesis of that?”
“And that would be that we can be bought, that our bodies can be bought and that our affections can be bought.”
The foundation of being image bearers who can not be bought has personal as well as cultural consequences. Joel points to the reality that, as a result of human trafficking, many are bought and sold internationally and domestically.
“So there was a part of that that was bringing to light and starting a conversation about something that is not only a tragic reality internationally, but it’s also something domestically in America, and that’s part of the reason we wanted to film in America, because this is very real in America.”
Beneath the statistics, Joel sees a collision between how culture and faith portray our purpose.
“When you pull the lens out even a bit further, you realize this is a cause and effect. What I mean by that is in a modern context, we as young men and women are bombarded more than ever with advertisements and I daresay indoctrination about who we are, who we should be, and how we should interact man to woman, woman to man, and where we find our self-worth.”
Through the film Joel hopes to emphasis the importance of finding our worth and identity in God not in our relationships with others.
“The film is really, hopefully a subtle debunking to men saying we are not just primitive sexual creatures. There is a stronger, more dignified version inside us that wants to protect a woman and wants to be chivalrous. That wants to love well and make these lifelong commitments.”
“And then, to women, saying that that your self-worth is, rather than being found in your figure or what kind of guy finds you attractive, that we’re all image bearers of God, and that our dignity and worth should be found first and foremost in God. That sort of resets all of these horizontal relationships, if you will.”
On the Road with Joel Smallbone