Homeschool Review: Captivated (The Movie) by Media Talk 101

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As an Early Childhood Specialist, Children’s Bible Teacher, and parent, I am concerned about the amount of media kids are ingesting each day. And not just the amount of screen time, but the content of the media. I agree that we are in the “Computer Age” and children need to know how to work computers, etc. But I’d like to think critically about this subject. Just because the world has gone one way, does not mean that families need to go with the flow. I was curious to see how Media Talk 101 would handle this topic when I received the movie Captivated ($16.95).


Phillip Telfer, Producer and Co-director, attempts to ask some hard questions about media and how media affects children and families. This is a Christian documentary that seems to be aimed at parents, or those working with children. Younger children might not get much from this movie, but this would be a great conversation starter with older children and youth. My husband (a computer programmer) and I sat down to watch this video together because I wanted his input on this review as well. We thought it quite ironic that we were going to spend time watching the TV screen show us a documentary about screen time!

Our Thoughts:

As the movie began, ominous violin music played. Both of us were put on edge as we prepared ourselves for propaganda. After the introduction, the movie was split into four sections: Media Consumption, Content, Battleground, and Freedom.

Media Consumption: The movie gave a statistic that the average young person is involved in 53 hours per week of screen time. I am wary of statistics if research details are not given. None really were, so I did some of my own research. I found that the American Academy of Pediatrics, The New York Times, and Science Daily all have similar numbers for this statistic. That made me feel better about the authenticity of the documentary. The movie shows many interviews of people from differing backgrounds with media. Some would be considered activists in my mind, which means they have an agenda they want to get across to people. Others who were interviewed spoke about their own personal battles and successes with media consumption. These people had more authority on the subject of media, in my opinion, because they had experienced the downfalls of consumption and the victories of overcoming the addiction. (Trace Embry and the kids from Shepherd’s Hill Academy are examples.)


Content: I thought this was a great section. It communicated that Christians need to be holy. People who claim to be Christians should think of their motives behind why they watch R rated movies. The more video games and movies we watch that are filled with violence or sins against a holy God, the more we become desensitized to the real things. Bob Waliszewski, the Director of Plugged In from Focus on the Family, pulls no punches and tells a Christian like it is. Can you really call yourself a Christian if you watch these things? This section of the movie was convicting. My family and I do not watch much TV, or many movies, but we still make poor choices at times when watching the TV. We don’t really have an issue with music. {We listen to LOTS of praise music and radio dramas.} But I catch myself using the TV, or the games on the phone, as “babysitters” when I need some time away from the kids.

Battleground: The documentary speakers move into telling viewers about the armor of the Lord and that we need to be putting it on each day. They claim that Christians are asleep and need to be more concerned about media. I agree we are in a spiritual battle with the world. No one can read the Bible and argue with that fact.

mediatalk_zps62b9c133Freedom: The documentary recommends that families go on a media fast for a month. This will allow families to realize exactly how much media is used on a daily basis. We are urged to make changes to honor Christ. We are to honor Christ with our books, movies, music, video games, phone usage, etc. People complain about not having enough time to do things. We need to redeem the time.The speakers continue by encouraging parents to teach children to guard their hearts. My question is: how exactly does one teach that? I need some practical strategies for that objective. I do like that we are urged to become “recaptivated” by something else. In my opinion, that would be Jesus. We need to be focused on Him and not be distracted by anything else.

Extra Features: In this section there are extended interviews with most of the speakers in the documentary. One of my favorites was Dr. David Murray. He is not anti-media. What he encourages parents to do is be sure to have a biblical foundation for media. Watch for extremes. Use discernment. He explains that the Bible is a record of the communication battle that began in Genesis 3. He also encourages parents to pray that our kids would have changed hearts. Rules are not going to change hearts. Prayer, the Holy Spirit, and the Bible will change hearts.

My Husband’s Reaction:

  • It is very long.
  • It is not obviously segmented for church presentation.
  • I could not determine who is the target audience.  I have my doubts that this video could be used to persuade a teenager to reduce their media consumption.  I believe this video could convince a parent to be concerned about their teenagers’ media habits.  However, I felt it lacks practical advice for concerned parents.
  • It is obvious that the creator of this project went to a LOT of work.
  • The theme seems to change during the video.  It went from propaganda, to testimony, to spiritual discussion.
  • I liked the second half much more than the first half.  The speakers seemed more authentic.
  • My favorite part was when they interviewed the camp counselors.  They were real people.
  • The best quote was by the counselor at the camp who said he had not seen anyone die from lack of connectivity.


At first, when watching all of the people who seemed to be activists, I was suspicious about the motivations of the documentary. I don’t want to watch something that wants to sway my opinion. I want facts…then allow me to decide for myself. This movie did have some of that at the beginning, but later on as scripture was pumped out and the individual testimonies were revealed, I felt more compelled to listen to the message of the movie.

Right now there is a deal on the website! If you order 2 of the videos, then that second one will be $5. You will also receive FREE shipping!!

Twitter: @CaptivatedMovie

Overall, Captivated by Media Talk 101 earns 4 FFS Aliens out of 5 FFS Aliens for homeschool FAMILY friendliness!

4 aliens

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Homeschool Review: Captivated (The Movie) by Media Talk 101 — 2 Comments

    • Yes, it didn’t have enough research to satisfy me. But the personal testimonies were really good. 🙂

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