Idol Chatter


James Stevens is facing a crossroads in his life. After losing his wife in an accident and losing custody of his child, his life was a mess. Unable to hold down a steady job, Stevens agreed to drive a box truck across country for cash with no questions asked. Yet, this was no ordinary cargo in the back of the truck,  as Stevens soon finds out—it was two women being smuggled into the country for sex trafficking.

The plot is a creative tale straight from the mind of Joel Smallbone. You may have heard of Smallbone, he is in the popular Christian band King & Country with brother Luke, and stars as James in the movie, “Priceless: She’s Worth Fighting For.” The project took two years to complete, between writing the book (authored by both Joel and Luke), and working out the details for the film script based on the book. “I am dumbfounded and thrilled at how the journey has taken place,” Joel explained, the bother of singer Rebecca St. James. During one event, right before they played their two songs, the discussion circled around the importance of men regarding their relationships to women. It was left open ended, and that night birthed the “Priceless” movement where men are encouraged to value and celebrate a women’s worth in a relationship. “It is time for men to step up and standout—chivalry is alive and well. Ever since the inception of King & Country, this has been something that we have shared,” Joel said. Both brothers then took the idea to brother, Ben, a filmmaker.  He loved the idea; the book followed shortly thereafter.

Joel talked about his role as James, a failed father and ex-convict. He continues living a sketchy life by taking an under-the-table transportation job to drive across America. He falls asleep at the wheel on the way and runs off the road. As he is circling the truck in the middle of the night, checking to make sure everything is intact, he hears crying from the trailer of the truck. He knocks the lock off and opens the doors to find two women (sisters Antonia and Amber). They believe they are coming into the country to work as maids and waitresses. Unsure what to do next, James continues the journey, but once he “makes the drop” he realized he sold the women into slavery. Throughout the journey, James found himself falling in love with one of the women. This love transforms him – he takes on the role of vigilante to save them, while dealing with some tough questions like the value of life along the way.

For Joel, the fanfare is not what he wants from the film; there is a bigger concern. He prays the film will inspire women to treat themselves with self-respect. Both Joel and Luke, listed as producer on the film, wanted to share the message because, “we had to call ourselves into account as fathers and husbands.” The message is something that they feel very strongly in themselves. “As men we are the protectors and the hunter,” Joel said. “It can be a beautiful component to the male species, this pursuit and fight and winning women over. But the protector is down played, and the hunter is lifted up,” he said. “We are more bombarded with explicit messages that play to the hunter and the physicality of a woman. The protector has been hidden away. Marriages are having a hard time staying together, as men can’t transition into this protector, lover and nurturer. We want to stay in the hunt.”   He offered that men need to take the less primitive road by loving and being committed to a woman. “These are things I am in fear of losing in the context of culture,” he explained. “This is very dramatically and theatrically told in the film.”

Priceless” will b in theaters Oct., 14th.

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