Is ‘Unsung Hero’ based on a true story?

Unsung Hero

Unsung Hero is a new Christian drama film screening in US theatres from 26th April 2024. Following its release in the United States, the film will be released in the UK on the 14th of June. 

The film, which has been directed by Richard Ramsey and Joel Smallbone, tells the story of a man named David (Joel Smallbone) who moves his family from Australia to the US after his music business collapses. 

As per the synopsis: “With nothing more than their six children, their suitcases, and their love of music, David and his pregnant wife Helen (Daisy Betts) set out to rebuild their lives from the ground up.”

The film follows David and Helen as they put their dreams on hold to focus on their musically gifted children.

This is a story of faith, hope, and love that can be recommended to anybody who wants to see a film that will uplift their spirits and reaffirm their religious beliefs. 

After seeing Unsung Hero, you might be curious to know if it’s based on a true story. Here’s what we know:

Is Unsung Hero based on a true story?

Yes, Unsung Hero is based on a true story. It’s based on the real-life David and Helen Smallbone who, in the early 1990s, had to rebuild their lives from nothing after David’s music business collapsed. 

David made the brave decision to move his family all the way from Australia to the United States, where they had no home, no money, and no one to call their friends. 

This was a huge step of faith but it was Helen’s faith in God that helped her and her family remain steadfast in the face of numerous challenges.

When speaking about the event that led them to move country, Helen said:

“My husband, David, had a passion for making a difference in people’s lives and Christian music. He was promoting Christian concerts and had a small record company. It was a normal sort of life,” said Helen Smallbone. “Then he ended up marketing a tour in Australia in 1988 that lost us a quarter of a million dollars.”

“You don’t lose that sort of money in business and not have a major life change.” (source)

Instead of losing hope, they began to rebuild their lives, relying on their faith to guide them though their troublesome time. 

Helen said:

“I saw it as an adventure. We were together. We homeschooled the children”, said Helen. “We had a rental home but no furniture. The kids would sleep on their winter clothing for a bed. We were camping out in our house. We never knew what the next day would bring. We would consistently pray that God would open up opportunities for us.”

It was Helen’s positivity that encouraged the family to get their music dreams back on track. Their musically gifted daughter Rebecca eventually became a successful recording artist as did Joel and his brother Luke, who went on to form the Christian pop duo For King & Country

To date, For King & Country has released five albums, the most recent being What Are We Waiting For?, which was released on 11 March 2022. Meanwhile, Rebecca has released 10 albums, with songs including The Battle is the Lord’s, Wait for Me, and Breathe. 

More information about the family can be found in Helen Smallbone’s book Behind the Lights: The Extraordinary Adventure of a Mum and her Family.


Read More: Where is the Smallbone family now?

Did you enjoy this film? Are you a fan of the Smallbone family? Let us know in the comments below. 

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