Monday, March 31, 2014

Review: Captivated The Movie

I am a part of that special generation of people who have witnessed the takeover of technology into our culture during my lifetime.  I remember when phones had cords, TV's had 3 or 4 channels, and you always carried a dime in your pocket in case you needed to call home from a payphone. I somehow managed to survive my teen years without a cell phone. In fact, I remember when the first ones came out!

Having known and lived in these two separate worlds, I admit to having many concerns about what I see becoming 'normal' in our tech saturated culture. It's not just the content of what we see in the media and entertainment industry, but the actual medium of it's delivery. So many questions I have pondered, and they were all addressed in this Captivated DVD that I reviewed from Media Talk 101 through The Old Schoolhouse Review Crew. 

Captivated the Movie was produced by Phillip Telfer, who founded Media Talk 101 to address the needs he saw in families who were becoming saturated with our modern media. Captivated has an award winning production team of people who truly care about families and the assault of modern media and the entertainment industry on the Christian families of our day. 

Captivated is 107 minutes long. There are also over 2 hours of extra features and interviews with experts in the media industry. Spanish subtitles are also available on the DVD.

Some of the awards that Captivated has won include:
2013 Gold Crown Award for Best Documentary at the International Christian Visual Media Conference
2013 Best Documentary at the GloryReelz Christian Film Festival
2013 Official Selection at the Midwest Christian Inspirational Indie Film Festival
2012 Best Documentary Runner-Up at the San Antonio Independent Christian Film Festival
2012 Best of Festival Finalist at the San Antonio Independent Christian Film Festival

Some disturbing statistics: As we watched the movie, there were some statistics that were brought out that I found startling! Did you know that by the time the average child graduates high school, they have absorbed 18-22 thousand hours of television in their lifetime? Or that the average teenager is directly involved in approximately 56 hours of media screen time per week? Given the number of televisions in place in American homes, there are more TV's than people in our homes! And how about this....There are more TV's than toilets in America! As was stated in Captivated, this means that "there is more sewage coming in to American homes than is going out!" 

How Captivated Addresses These Topics:  The movie is broken down into three main areas of focus: Media Consumption, Media Content, and Captivity. It addresses all areas of screen time, including TV, Hollywood movies, video games, social media, and cell phone use. When addressing consumption, the point is made that even "good" media can take over our lives and become a source of negativity that hinders our family relationships. While discussing content, much is discussed about desensitization, and the affects of viewing on our minds. Captivity addresses the control that media can have over our everyday lives, blocking out things that are good, and controlling our lives and relationships. 

My personal opinion: I think this movie is extremely well done! It is very creative. The graphics and interviews are well laid out, to keep the movie moving along. While it is a documentary, it does not have a 'documentary feel' about it. Also, because it is a Christian movie, it uses Biblical principles as the foundation for the statements that are made, encouraging the viewer to seek God and determine what is right for their family. It does not specifically "call out" certain movies or elements as evil, but instead tries to teach the principle for the viewer to make good choices. Because of the great balance between Bible principles and thorough research, this movie does not come across as "preachy" but as a helpful tool for families who are concerned about the influence of modern media in their lives. I was very much impressed with the abundance of good research, interviews, and quotes that are used in this movie - everything from Hollywood producers and companies, to preachers, to doctors who discuss the brain functions of media viewing. 
A challenge: At the end of the movie, there is a challenge issued to viewers to institute a media fast in their life. What I really liked about this is how they presented it, with real life people who shared their own experiences with a media fast and how it changed their perspectives. 

Very relatable: While many experts were interviewed and included, there was also a number of real life people just like you and me, whose stories were included in this movie. There were young people and older people who shared about their various addictions to TV, texting, and innocent online games. 

My recommendation: I highly recommend this movie to EVERYONE! And especially to parents who have to navigate our culture of technology with their family. Personally, we have tried to balance our involvement with technology in our own family, and are always striving to adapt to using what is necessary while maintaining a distance from the evil traps that it holds. It is a tricky balance, but like this movie says, it is a battlefield! This movie is a wonderful way to equip yourself with the tools necessary to fight the battle! 

Appropriate Viewing Age: I think that all teens and adults could benefit from watching this movie, and I didn't find anything inappropriate for younger viewers. Our entire family watched it. 

Price: Captivated the Movie is currently selling for $16.95 and there is also a special that is available now where you can purchase a second copy for $5. There are also quantity discounts available. 

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