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Entertainment Media Analysis Report
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(2005), PG-13 [R-13*] (2hr 4min)

Analysis Date
CAP Final Score
CAP Influence Density
April 21, 2005
42 out of 100

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Christian Long Distance

(This section may be and sometimes is somewhat subjective.)

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

(2005), R [R-13*] -- ... contains at least one cup of "dog poop."

Cast/Crew Details Courtesy Internet Movie Database
Production (US): Misher Films
Distribution (US): Universal Pictures, Universal Studios Inc.
Director(s): Sydney Pollack
Producer(s): Tim Bevan, G. Mac Brown, Liza Chasin, Eric Fellner, Debra Hayward, Anthony Minghella, Kevin Misher, Sydney Pollack, Michael E. Steele Story by: Martin Stellman, Brian Ward
Screenplay by: Charles Randolph, Scott Frank, Steven Zaillian
Cinematography/Camera: Darius Khondji
Music: James Newton Howard
Film Editing: William Steinkamp
Casting: Ellen Lewis, Juliet Taylor
Production Design: Jon Hutman
Art Direction: Steven Graham, W. Steven Graham, Zack Grobler, Tom Warren, Dan Yarhi
Viewed At: Driftwood Theater 6

In a film which appears to take aim at the Bush administration's war on terrorism, Silvia Broome (Nicole Kidman) witnesses what she heard to be a plot on the life of Matobo, Africa Dictator Dr. Edmund Zuwanie (Earl Cameron) when he arrives at the UN in an attempt to stave off American intervention in his murderous affairs.

Silvia is an interpreter for the United Nations and is one of about eight who speak Ku, the language of Matobo, a fictitious country which may be more accurately envisioned as Zimbabwe. Silvia, though American, grew up in Matobo. The whispers she heard were in Ku.

As a child, Silvia witnessed the death of her family at the hands of the murderous, ethnic cleansing rule of Zuwanie. Only her brother Simon (Hugo Speer) remains alive. But cohort and friend Philippe (Yvan Attal) soon brings news that Simon is dead.

After a night of restlessness after hearing the plot to kill Zuwanie, Silvia finally decided to reveal what she had heard. Secret Service Agent Tobin Keller (Sean Penn) assumes command of the investigation ... an investigation which seems to point more at Silvia than a conspiracy. Oddly enough, Keller is an agent for the branch of the Secret Service that protects diplomats. Silvia is not a diplomat. What gives!?

Keller's suspicions lead him to wonder whether Silvia's history in Matobo figures into the case. Keller feels that of all the suspects he has investigated Silvia is the one with the darkest past. But Keller is sensitive for now. About two weeks ago, his wife, Lori was killed by her paramour by driving into a bridge embankment.

Catherine Keener's Dot Woods was an expert in background presence as Keller's partner, vital but obscure. Her contribution could have been provided by just about anybody, maybe even myself, but she did it very well with very few words.

Keller's suspicions are evaporated -- maybe -- when Matoban operatives blow up a New York City bus ... with Silvia on it, killing 17 including Kuman-kuman (George Harris), an enemy of Zuwanie, but not Silvia. Was she the real target?

The Interpreter is rated PG-13 for violence, some sexual content and brief strong language. Do tell!

The "brief strong language" included 15 uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary and two exceptionally harsh uses of God's name in vain with the four letter expletive (plus a like number without it). [Prov. 8:13, Deut. 5:11]

"Some sexual content" included using women as sex toys, female nudity, strip dancing, lap dancing while nearly nude and adolescent nudity. And the writers have Kidman's face in Penn's semi-prone lap -- all night. [**, Jude 1:7]

"For violence" included a young African teen lustfully murdering two adult men by automatic gunfire (graphic), multiple murders by explosion, scenes of carnage and death (graphic) and several flashbacks of murders and gore. All at a rate of 14.5 per hour. [Prov. 13:2, Prov. 3:31-32]

My, how useful is the MPAA! Programming entirely appropriate for our young teens dontchaknow. Well! The parent-usurping MPAA say so. And most kids side with the MPAA. Of course, they do! Such dissonance as "The MPAA says it's okay but you (mom/dad) don't" can be a crushing battle. You as parents may decide the level of immorality in this film is appropriate for your young teen but the MPAA does not have that authority with your kids. You do. And only you. The law says so. And The MPAA guidelines are not law.

Think of this issue in this way. You, mom, baked your kids (which includes at-home teens) some of the best brownies ever made with the finest ingredients under the strictest of cooking procedure and temperature controls but added just one teaspoon of dog poop in the recipe. Then tell your kids you made the brownies with just one teaspoon of dog poop and ask them if they would still eat them. The 2-cup The Interpreter recipe contains at least one cup of "dog poop."

There's more. Please inspect the listing in the Findings/Scoring section for a full account of what was noted.


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.


  • Prov. 8:13 The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate. ["Froward" is perverse, disobedient, willful. Froward mouth is perverse speech (NIV); being disobedient with speech which includes offensive speech - cussing]
  • Deut. 5:11 Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain: for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain. [Vain is shav' {shawv}: emptiness, nothingness, vanity, such as an expletive. With or without the four letter expletive, the use of God's name in any way other than respect, reverence or thoughtful discussion is in vain. That includes the popular three syllable sentence with His name trailing it AND the misuse of Jesus' name.] **"Nakedness" (display of nudity) is spoken of as dark, restricted, undesirable, shameful, etc. 47 times in the KJV from Genesis to Revelation.
  • Jude 1:7 Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication [sexual immorality such as pre- and extra-marital sex], and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire [if unforgiven].
  • Prov. 13:2 From the fruit of his lips a man enjoys good things, but the unfaithful have a craving for violence.
  • Prov. 3:31-32 Do not envy a violent man or choose any of his ways, for the LORD detests a perverse man but takes the upright into his confidence.

    ***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 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].
  • 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 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 you], 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 [or for] one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto [or for] 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 - 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. "Little ones": mikros - little;, small of age; younger which can include at-home teens].
  • 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 heart of the CAP Analysis Model)

    The Interpreter (2005) CAP Thermometers

    Wanton Violence/Crime (W)
  • young children involved with dead bodies
  • many dead and decaying bodies
  • vehicular assault
  • plotting to kill
  • breaking and entering
  • theft
  • stalking
  • explosives and incendiary devices for aggression
  • firearms for offense
  • tale of graphic killing of a child
  • handwritten accounts of murder and killing
  • still photos of graphic murder
  • breaking and entering to kill
  • gunfire to kill, repeatedly
  • dead body
  • defensive firearms
  • action violence
  • firearm threats to the face, repeatedly

    Impudence/Hate (I)
  • 15 uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary
  • humor and/or lust from killing

    Sexual Immorality (S)
  • female nudity
  • lap dancing
  • strip dancing
  • adolescent nudity
  • peeping
  • woman as toys
  • woman's face in man's lap, semi-prone
  • tale of immoral sex

    Drugs/Alcohol (D):
  • bar
  • booze, repeatedly
  • drinking, repeatedly
  • drunkenness
  • smoking, repeatedly

    Offense to God (O)
  • two uses of God's name in vain with the four letter expletive and two without it

    Murder/Suicide (M)
  • young teen murder with lust of two adult men
  • beating murder
  • murder victims, repeatedly
  • multiple murders by explosions (17)
  • scenes of murder and carnage
  • murder victim in bathtub with bloody water
  • tale of murder by a child

  • First Impressions and

    Christian Educators Association International



    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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