ChildCare Action Project: Christian Analysis of American Culture (CAP)

Entertainment Media Analysis Report

Down in the Delta (1998), PG-13
CAP Score: 76, CAP ID: 0.43

Thomas A. Carder
CAP President

Executive Summary / Commentary
Findings / Scoring

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"Down in the Delta" was probably the finest definition of 'family' I have ever seen onscreen. Acting was powerful and commanding. Too bad there had to be a bunch of ignominy in the movie.

Violent and criminal aspects were presented by, among other things, an adult promoting that a school-age child should carry a gun as necessary for survival and by an adult teaching the child to use guns for that purpose. The black-n-white darkness, helplessness, and dirtiness of the nihilism -- the 'I don't care, existence is useless anyway' attitude of the world of crackhouse drug and alcohol addiction was bold and possibly alluring for those who wish to 'try it for themselves just to find out...' Hatred reared its ugly head in such selfish expressions as calling an infirm child "trash." Beer consumption and exposure to adult underwear as well as brief partial nudity took their toll on the CAP score. And to lock in the relatively low CAP score were three flashback presentations of human slavery and three instances of a boy watching his father being sold into slavery. Granted slavery was real. But as dishonorable slavery was, the actors were not slaves and this is 1998, not the mid 19th century -- no movie is real. Let the parents teach, and let them decide WHETHER to teach, our kids of the inhuman and evil horrors of slavery, not the big screen.

FINDINGS / SCORING: Down in the Delta (1998) CAP Thermometers

Wanton Violence/Crime (W) lost intermediate level points once due to teaching a child how to use guns for inner city self-defense. Wanton Violence/Crime lost maximum level points once due to teaching a child that carrying guns by kids in school is necessary for survival.

Impudence/Hate (I)(1) lost no intermediate nor maximum level points.

Sex/Homosexuality (S) lost no intermediate nor maximum level points.

Drugs/Alcohol (D) lost intermediate level points twice due to smoking dope. Drugs/Alcohol lost maximum level points four times due to a crackhouse scene of at least four examples of group drinking and taking drugs.

Offense to God (O)(2) lost no intermediate nor maximum level points.

Murder/Suicide (M)(3) lost no intermediate nor maximum level points.

Other examples of entertainment ignominy, each warranting the loss of the minimum point level, included

  • drunkenness
  • exposure to adult underwear
  • partial nudity
  • gang/police gunfire in background causing fear
  • anger against/hatred of mother
  • five uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary
  • one use of God's name in vain without the four letter expletive
  • calling a infirm child "trash"
  • consumption of beer
  • fall of an old woman causing injury and grief
  • three instances of human slavery
  • three instances of a child watching his father being sold into slavery
  • blase attitude about having children out of wedlock
  • hard concept of providing care for infirm family members

    (1) As noted in CAP Special Report-001, "Investigation Area and Scoring Trend," of the six CAP Investigation Areas, Impudence/Hate was the strongest presence in all four movie classifications. It has a strong revelation about the entertainment media.

    (2) The use of the three/four letter word vocabulary without God's name is incorporated into the Impudence/Hate Investigation Area. The use of God's name with or without the three/four letter word vocabulary is incorporated into the Offense to God Investigation Area. There is no duplication. As required of the Holy Scriptures, unless God's name is used with reverence to His glory and praise, its use is considered in vain, whether literal or euphemistic.

    (3) Only portrayal of successful murder or suicide are incorporated into Murder/Suicide. Presentation of attempts to commit murder or suicide and deaths by police action or war are incorporated into Wanton Violence/Crime.

    Additional reviews of this movie may be located at "Movie Review Query Engine at Telerama."

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    Thomas A. Carder
    ChildCare Action Project: Christian Analysis of American Culture (CAP)

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