Monday, March 31, 2014

Captivated: Finding Freedom in a Media Captive Culture {Crew Review}


Media Talk 101, a ministry founded by Phillip Telfer to add a Biblical perspective to the use of media in our society, has produced a thought-provoking documentary called Captivated DVD. The movie retails for $16.95 at the website (I see that there is a $6.45 study guide as well, but we did not review it).  It is definitely designed for adults to watch, but I think it makes a great topic for discussion with teens.

The movie examines five aspects of media usage:

Consumption – This part of the movie examines the amount of media that surrounds us

Content – This part examines the content of media. Being a history geek, I really enjoyed learning the history of the motion picture industry’s ratings. Did you know that in the 1930s the Hollywood elite set up a code of content which was meant to stem the public’s outcry for censorship and regulation of movie content?  Here is a screenshot of part of that code:  

captivating hollywood's self regulating code 1930

This self-regulation was in place until 1968, when the MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America) rating system was put into place.  Until that time, there had been no “R” rated content.  Wow.

Here are a couple other quote that I found worthy of contemplation:

captivating you would let these people in your house

captivating communism

Captivity – This section discusses the various philosophies that are promoted in movies, TV, music and video games.  Are we slaves to media and the message?  Have we taken entertainment and made it our god?  Where do we turn to satisfy our needs when we are hurting and hungry for guidance?  This section was very convicting!

captivate the lord hates violence

This section also discusses the new addictions that have popped up into our culture – online gaming addictions, internet addictions,etc. Do you have a son/ nephew/ husband who LOVES gaming (especially violent video games)?  I will admit that we have allowed these types of games to creep into our house  I know that we need to discuss this with our boys and that this will lead to some hard discussions and decisions, but I think it is important to discuss.

But the movie goes beyond bashing the latest version of Modern Warfare and its kin.  Angry Birds…Farmville….Friends with Words…..they all can captivate us and distract us.

Battleground -  Army Chaplain Major Phil Willis gives a powerful testimony as he compared the danger of insurgents in Iraq -- many of whom were friendly during the day, but used grenade launchers in the evenings to attack coalition forces -- with the battlefield that is part of American pop culture.

Freedom-  This final section provides some inspiring first-hand accounts of those who have thrown of the chains of media and are experience freedom to live in their lives in a whole new way with those they love.

I did get the impression that this DVD was anti-media, but as I continued to watch, I began to see the reasons why.  For me, it is about choices and making wise choices about what we allow into our house.  We have gone through seasons when we allowed shows into our house (we don’t have broadcast TV or Cable) that I would be embarrassed, to be totally honest, to have on if Jesus knocked on my front door.  The thing is, as a follower of Christ, Jesus is with me all. the. time.  He already knows what I consume, what my family consumes, what we write off as being insignificant (“you boys know we don’t talk like that, right?”). 

My recommendations & thoughts:  I’ll admit that I was brought to tears when I watched portions of this.  It was very convicting! I think this is an important DVD to watch as a family, especially with high school teens.  {As a matter of fact, I am thinking about ordering the study guide and including this as part of my 14yo’s health class – mental and spiritual health are definitely topics we want to address.}   Will it make you cut the cable and throw out your DVD collect?  Maybe.  Maybe not.  If nothing else I believe it is important to discuss these issues with our kids.

Click to read more reviews from the Schoolhouse Review Crew


All prices are accurate as of blog posting. 

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