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(2007), R [R*] (1hr 52min)

Analysis Date
CAP Final Score
CAP Influence Density
February 13, 2007
40 out of 100

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Christian Long Distance

(While the Scriptural references are certainly not subjective, my commentary may be and sometimes is somewhat subjective.)

If Scriptural references appear, the full text appears at the end of the Summary / Commentary.

(2007), R [R*] -- Another cheek-eating gorefest.

Cast/Crew Details Courtesy Internet Movie Database
Production (US): Young Hannibal Productions Ltd., Carthago Films S.a.r.l., Dino De Laurentiis Company, Ingenious Film Partners, Quinta Communications USA Inc., Zephyr Films Ltd.
Distribution (US): Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Weinstein Company, The
Director(s): Peter Webber
Producer(s): Tarak Ben Ammar, Tarak Ben Ammar, James Clayton, Chris Curling, Dino De Laurentiis, Martha De Laurentiis, Lorenzo De Maio, Petr Moravec, Duncan Reid, Phil Robertson, Guy Tannahill
Screenplay and Novel by: Thomas Harris
Cinematography/Camera: Ben Davis
Music: Ilan Eshkeri
Shigeru Umebayashi
Film Editing: Valerio Bonelli, Pietro Scalia
Casting: Leo Davis
Production Design: Allan Starski
Viewed At: Driftwood Theater 6

Hannibal Rising  (R). Another cheek-eating gorefest. Not as gory as the 2001 face-eating, "eat your wife" Hannibal but gory enough. There are two reasons I decided to conduct analysis of this film:

1) to maintain mathematical integrity of our "R-13" finding -- one cannot make claims of PG-13 films being "R-13" without empirical evidence of "R"

2) to do an analysis of an implied hardcore R film chronologically adjacent to Norbit as a comparison.

Guess what? Hannibal Rising  earned a higher final score than Norbit. Norbit  is rated PG-13. Hannibal Rising  is rated R. A sign of the times. Get to those children! As a convenience, below is a scoring data comparative between Norbit  and Hannibal Rising .

Though both films earned a score of zero in programming investigated by the Wanton Violence/Crime (W) investigation area, rest assured the violence in Hannibal Rising  is much more extreme than in Norbit, but the sheer number of episodes of violence in Norbit  makes the magnitude of its violence envelope equivalent to that of Hannibal Rising. This is another perfect application of our CAP Rule of 1000 which states that a film with hundreds of episodes of violence of the "lesser" kind is as morally influential (and possibly more so) than that of a film with fewer but more extreme episodes of violence.

In this version, we see Hannibal Lecture grow up and find out what tortures he suffered to make him the way he is. It's all about childhood, isn't it? Every evil we perform seems to be in some way connected to our parents. While in some cases such is true, childhood development cannot be a catch-all for every little misbehavior that crops up as an adult. At some point we must each accept accountability. But there seems to rarely be any personal accountability any more -- there's always something convenient on which to blame our "mistakes" which are in reality our poor choices. But then, to say we make poor choices rather than mistakes would place the "blame" on ourselves and we mustn't do that. Heaven forbid that we might actually feel a little sinful. Oh, my! I said the "s" word! I have been saying for years that the entertainment industry, whether intentional, promotes freedom from authority, freedom from consequences and freedom from accountability. Hannibal Rising  is no exception. Second Timothy 2:52 says "Similarly, if anyone competes as an athlete, he does not receive the victor's crown unless he competes according to the rules." It seems nowadays that "the athlete" who doesn't follow the Rules can somehow blame his parents, manufacture a subculture and claim special rights of some kind.

As children in 1944 World War II, French-born Hannibal Lecture (Aaron Thomas at 8 years old, Gaspard Ulliel) and his sister, Mischa (Helena Lia Tachovska) are separated from their parents (Richard Leaf, Ingeborga Dapkunaite) who were killed during a Russian attack of a Nazi warplane near their Lithuanian home. So is his sister killed. Not by the Nazis or the Russians but by ugly marauders. For food. If there is any programming in this film to manufacture ugly emotions, this subplot is it. The portrayals of the screaming little girl being stalked, assaulted and killed for food are brutal and vile. But the filmmakers didn't leave it at that. They kept using flashbacks, fanning the flames of the manufactured emotions.

I wonder what effect such acting will have on young Helena's teen years and adulthood. Maybe, if she later "competes as an athlete" and she fails, such trauma would be the cause of the failure? Maybe in this scenario it would  be all her parents' fault. They let her perform in the movie, didn't they? And I wonder what her angel said to God. In Matthew 18:10 God tells us to "take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven. "Despise" in Matt 18:10 is kataphroneo {kat-af-ron-eh'-o} which means to condemn, despise, disdain, think little or nothing of, to look down upon (which includes abuse, even by influence, lying to them, enticing/teasing them, frightening them, seducing them and/or their thoughts, etc.). By the way, "little ones" is mikros {mik-ros'} meaning less by birth, younger. All of your children are "less by birth" than you. All of them are "younger." So, "little ones" includes at-home teens.

Eight years later, Hannibal reunites with his uncle's widow, Lady Murasaki Shikibu (Gong Li) in France. Living with Shikibu, she teaches Hannibal the way of the sword. And it is not a celibate relationship. But Hannibal did not journey to France to reunite with his Aunt but to locate the ones who killed his sister for food. He finds them. One by one, taking advantage of what he had learned about the sword, the medical arts and the "culinary delight" in facial cheeks.

There is little benefit to provide the individual investigation area discussions of the content as we have been doing. Please rely on the listing in the Findings/Scoring section if you wish to see a line-by-line itemization of the findings.


If needed to focus or fortify, applicable text is underlined or bracketed [ ] or bold. If you wish to have full context available, the Blue Letter Bible is a convenient source. If you use the Blue Letter Bible, a new window will open. Close it to return here or use "Window" in your browser's menu bar to alternate between the CAP page and the Blue Letter Bible page.


Likewise there is little benefit of listing all the violations of the Scriptures of God-breathed morality. If I were to do so, the list would likely extend to about two feet below yours. Let the Scriptures in the Selected Scriptures  below suffice.

***Selected Scriptures of Armour against the influence of the entertainment industry***
  • Ps. 12:8 The wicked freely strut about [e.g., create progressively vile/offensive entertainment with impunity and no consequences and present it to younger and younger audiences every year] when what is vile is honored among men [when enough people continue to defend it, embrace it, pay for it, enjoy it, want it, submit to it. I call attention to Ps. 12:8 to warn of the creeping desensitizing power of "entertainment."]
  • Col. 2:8 Beware lest any man [by his influence] spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
  • 1 Cor. 15:33 Be not deceived: evil [kakov: of a bad nature, not such as it ought to be] communications corrupt good manners.
  • Rom. 5:19 For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.
  • Jude 1:4 For there are certain men* crept in unawares [secretly slipped in among us], who were before of old ordained to this condemnation [whose condemnation was written about long ago], ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness [a license for immorality], and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ. [*men: anthropos {anth'-ro-pos}, generic, a human being, whether male or female]
  • Matt. 25:40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
  • Luke 17:2 It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones. [Offend: skandalizo {skan-dal-id'-zo} - scandalize; to entice to sin; to cause a person to begin to distrust and desert one whom he ought to trust and obey; to cause to fall away.]
  • Ps. 119:133 Order my steps in thy word: and let not any iniquity have dominion over me [let no sin rule over me].
  • John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.
  • 1 Thess. 5:22 Abstain from all appearance of evil. ["Evil" includes all things that are sinful.]


    As always, it is best to refer to the Findings/Scoring section -- the heart of the CAP analysis model -- for the most complete assessment possible of this movie.
    (The objective  heart of the CAP Analysis Model, independent of and insulated from the Summary / Commentary section.)

    Hannibal Rising (2007) CAP Thermometers

    Wanton Violence/Crime (W)
  • young children playing on a dock without adult supervision
  • order to kill because of race
  • beating
  • firearm to head
  • warfare violence, repeatedly
  • warfare gore, repeatedly
  • warfare killing, repeatedly
  • animals feasting on human remains
  • threat to child to kill his sister
  • "We eat [children] or die"
  • assault with blood
  • images of child abduction with beating and terrorizing, repeatedly
  • contemplation of murder by scythe
  • capturing human by steel trap
  • images of brutalizing children
  • makeshift surgery
  • drawings of disembodied heads
  • slicing human flesh by blade, repeatedly
  • disembodied head, twice
  • execution by lethal injection
  • scene of leading child to beheading for cannibalism
  • licking victim's blood off fingertips
  • disembodied head with cheeks ripped off
  • aiding in crime
  • order to kill
  • stalking to kill
  • breaking and entering
  • human body parts in formaldehyde
  • sawing of cadavers
  • additional firearm threats, repeatedly
  • cadaver with opened chest
  • tales of horrendous brutality
  • disembodied head burning in furnace
  • action violence
  • gunfire to intimidate
  • attempted murder
  • kidnapping to extort
  • stabbing
  • threat to kill child to intimidate/extort
  • gunfire to kill, repeatedly
  • torturous chest slicing assault
  • eating cheeks off a dying man
  • massive explosion

    Impudence/Hate (I)
  • five uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary
  • three uses of the most foul of the foul words
  • chaining young children
  • rudeness because of race
  • lie and willingness to lie
  • adult tempting a child
  • torture as revenge

    Sexual Immorality (S)
  • vulgar aggression
  • inappropriate touch
  • excess cleavage
  • rude gaze by Aunt
  • trafficking in women, repeatedly
  • Aunt seducing adult nephew
  • man nude in bathtub
  • vulgar threat of sexual assault

    Drugs/Alcohol (D):
  • smoking, repeatedly
  • drinking, twice
  • forced injection to subdue
  • booze

    Offense to God (O)
  • worship of false gods

    Murder/Suicide (M)
  • murder by gunfire, repeatedly
  • murder by beheading
  • child murdered for food by war criminals
  • flashbacks of murder of child, repeatedly
  • murder by beheading with rope
  • tales of murder of little girl for food
  • murder by slow drowning
  • murder by blade from chin through top of head
  • murder by crushing between boar and dock
  • protective murder by blade to throat

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    There are some in the entertainment industry who maintain that 1) violent programming is harmless because no studies exist that prove a connection between violent entertainment and aggressive behavior in children, and 2) young people know that television, movies, and video games are simply fantasy. Unfortunately, they are wrong on both accounts." And "Viewing violence may lead to real life violence." I applaud these associations for fortifying 1 Cor. 15:33. Read the rest of the story. From our more than eight years of study, I contend that other aberrant behaviors, attitudes, and expressions can be inserted in place of "violence" in that statement. Our Director - Child Psychology Support, a licensed psychologist and certified school psychologist concurs. For example, "Viewing arrogance against fair authority may lead to your kids defying you in real life." Or "Viewing sex may lead to sex in real life." Likewise and especially with impudence, hate and foul language. I further contend that any positive behavior can be inserted in place of "violence" with the same chance or likelihood of being a behavior template for the observer; of being incorporated into the behavior mechanics and/or coping skills of the observer. In choosing your entertainment, please consider carefully the "rest of the story" and our findings.

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