Unsung Hero: The True Story of the Smallbone Family

‘Unsung Hero’ introduces us to the Smallbone family, who have moved from Australia to the US in search of new opportunities. The members comprise David, the father; Helen, the mother; and their six children, with one more on the way. With little in the way of savings to their name, all the family has is each other and their faith. Working small jobs together, their struggles are made into a fun adventure by Helen, who motivates them all while reinforcing their faith. David had been running a music company in Australia but set aside his dreams to provide for the family.

When his children begin to exhibit talent and interest in music, he realizes that his family members are not obstacles to his dreams but companions on the path to reaching them. In a miraculous turn of events, their daughter, Rebecca, gains popularity in the Nashville music scene, becoming a rising star. Under the direction of Richard L. Ramsey and Joel Smallbone, the musical drama film is filled with poignant and heartfelt moments, delivering an inspiring tale of family, positivity, and faith. Taking place in the 1990s and featuring an uplifting narrative, the movie raises questions regarding its real-world origins.

Unsung Hero: An Inspiring Tale of Family, Faith, and Miracles

‘Unsung Hero’ narrates the incredible true story of the Smallbone Family. All the significant interactions, situations, and miraculous interventions seen in the film really did take place. Brothers Joel and Luke Smallbone, the driving force behind the production, lead the Christian pop band For King and Country. Kirrilee Berger essays the character of their elder sister, Rebecca St. James, who is a successful singer, author, and actress. All three are Grammy award-winning artists who have achieved gold status on their rock albums.

In the film, Joel Smallbone depicts his father, David, while co-directing the movie and producing it alongside Luke Smallbone. As they performed during their band’s tours, Luke and Joel would share stories of growing up and their family’s struggles and triumphs. People often responded by saying they should write a book on their rise to fame. Instead, Joel felt that the story could be best conveyed through the medium of film while focusing on family, and eventually began working on it with co-writer and co-director Richard L. Ramsey.

When it comes to the authenticity of the narrative, Joel asserts that he has tried to remain as realistic and unbiased as possible. “I can’t afford to be biased creatively when it comes to my own family and the optics. It has to be realistic,” explained Joel Smallbone in an interview. “I have to be very sober-minded with the miraculous side of the story. It was a funny point in the movie when there were so many miracles that were real to life. But in film, it felt almost unrealistic, that we actually had to trim a few of them out because it started feeling like it was too magical.”

The film’s title possibly refers to anyone in the Smallbone family who endured hardships with resolve. Instead of being weighed down by tough times, they pull through with conviction while assisting other members in doing the same. The identity of the unsung hero is reflected in one’s own perception of the story. For fathers grappling with their roles and responsibilities, the character of David may seem like the champion, keeping his cool during hard times and providing a foundation for the family to prosper.

On the other hand, many women would relate to the character of Helen Smallbone, the driving force behind the scenes who maintains positivity and faith while presenting every situation as a challenge and adventure. Meanwhile, Rebecca would stand out as a resolute trailblazer who believed in herself and created a path of prosperity in the music industry for her siblings to follow. Her tenacity and fiery passion will likely resonate with young girls looking to achieve their dreams.

As of 2024, David Smallbone is the manager of For King and Country, as well as its silent co-owner. Josh Smallbone works as the band’s general manager alongside his father. Rebecca frequently collaborates with her singer siblings and is married to the former bassist of Foster the People, Jacob “Cubbie” Fink. Ben Smallbone is a film director who has worked with Joel and Luke on their music videos. The family is very close as a unit and frequently gets together on holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas.

‘Unsung Hero’ serves as a fitting cinematic portrayal of the real-life Smallbone family’s remarkable journey. From humble beginnings and financial struggles to the realization of their dreams in the music industry, the Smallbones’ journey is a testament to the power of family bonds that resonates with many. With family members like Joel and Luke Smallbone helming the production, their story is presented with authenticity and emotional depth straight from the source. As the Smallbone siblings continue to make strides in the music industry and beyond, ‘Unsung Hero’ serves as a poignant reminder of their journey and the unsung heroes who have shaped their lives.

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