Captivated – The Movie: “Finding Freedom in a Media Captive Culture” {Review}

“Everywhere we go, we are surrounded by screens.  Have we entered a techno utopia or a virtual prison?”
(Producer and Co-Director Phillip Telfer)

Captivated DVD is Captivated the movieone of the most important films you will watch this year.  Media Talk 101 brings together a diverse range of experts and contributors from all walks of life in this documentary, providing insight and testimony to equip us in making sound decisions for our families.  You will hear an outstanding series of interviews and evidence to support the potential impact of modern media on physical, moral, spiritual, mental and emotional health.

An Introduction to

We all know that we are inundated daily by screens and media that demands us to give it our immediate attention.  Perhaps many of us have never stopped and honestly considered how much of our focus these things have really become, and more concerning, how much impact these things are having on our children.

Consider these statistics (from MediaTalk101 and Captivated):

  • The average person watches almost 5 hours of TV a day (53 hours per week).
  • By the time the average child is 18 they will have witnessed 200,000 acts of violence and 16,000 murders on TV.
  • The average mobile teen sends and receives 3,339 text messages per month.
  • 90% of children between 8-16 years old have viewed pornography online (most while innocently doing homework).

About the Film

Captivated begins with taking the viewer on a brief journey on the introduction of the telegraph, and the impact this had at the time.  You might find yourself surprised at some parallels to today, although the scale and digital sophistication has obviously changed considerably.

With a series of interviews with experts, authors, teachers and real life testimonies from regular people, it covers (amongst other things):

  • Brain development and functioning of infants and young people, the science behind attention systems, and the growing epidemic of distraction;
  • The change in what we understand community to be, and how we now do relationship;
  • The physical impact on nutrition and fitness, on sleep, and on mental and spiritual health;
  • The reinforcement of media appetite through excessive use, and its potential impact;
  • The history and consequences of the movie ratings system;
  • The saturation of social media and technology into our modern society, with the backing of research cited, expert testimony, and statistics.

Why It Matters

The film asks and discusses some essential questions:  whose voice is influencing your family?  What are you allowing in your home via a screen that you wouldn’t normally invite in with a real life person?  Scientific research backs up the parental instinct that the content of what our children are consuming is harmful, and that graphic violence makes children more desensitized to violence.  But even putting violent video games aside, consider even the seemingly harmless – what and whose values does it express?

Here’s a point that was expressed by Dr Jeff Myers:  every movie, video game, TV show and so forth, starts with an idea someone has had.  The media is not neutral.  I was freshly reminded that there are agenda’s at work, and according to research, these agenda’s are not Christian.

KP Yohannan suggests that anything that gets us away from focusing on God deserves to be examined.   What we see and hear affects what we do.  If we’re filling ourselves with what is good and pure, then it affects our actions and we become a blessing to others.

There is no doubt – media changes worldviews.  That is why examining this area of media consumption deserves to be courageously and honestly examined by every follower of Christ.

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This film promotes media discernment, and not necessarily its complete removal.  It does not tell you exactly what to do, or how much is enough, but encourages you to seek discernment and find what God has for you instead.

Technological tools are beneficial. But there are costs – culturally, intellectually, educationally, spiritually, mentally and physically.  I was left considering these technological advances as having their place as tools, but shouldn’t replace relationship, community, purpose, and identity.   When they become a lifestyle and the primary source of our ‘diet’, we have possibly stepped over into an area where we are no longer free.

I love the emphasis that one family, who did a month-long media fast, say worked for them.  They said they didn’t ‘take away’, but they ‘replaced’.  I believe this is essential, and we can allay our fears that we will somehow deprive our children if we take away or reduce the amount of time they spend with these ‘tools’.

The film eventually takes you in the direction of Christ as the one who sets us free from captivity and leads us into fullness of life.

Final Thoughts

This film is a tremendous resource for families and I wholeheartedly recommend it.  As parents, we simply must become better equipped and discerning in this area, so as to live intentionally on this earth, with purpose in our step, and hope for our future.

Unless we become intentional in this area, and possibly admit our own shortcomings and change ourselves, we could miss out on what is really available to walk in instead.  Let’s not have regrets.

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Further Information

The film is intended for adults but has been approved for all ages. Note that it does touch on some topics that you may not have discussed with your children yet.

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6 thoughts on “Captivated – The Movie: “Finding Freedom in a Media Captive Culture” {Review}

    1. Victoria Post author

      That will depend on your children. There’s nothing inappropriate for children as such. But in the course of the interviews, sometimes things are mentioned such as ‘graphic violence and sex’. So if you haven’t had ‘those’ conversations yet, then your children are most likely going to ask you. 🙂

      1. Fleur

        I think this movie is such a conscience awakener. Sometimes its easier to turn off discernment as a parent.. I think this movie may have changed our lives. Im now in the process of praying about even the movies that hubby and I watch. This is one documentary every parent should watch!!


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