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


Click on CAPCon Alert
image for explanation
Entertainment Media Analysis Report
A service to our youth through you,
their parents and grandparents, in His name by His Word

Possession (2002), PG-13
Analysis Date: August 20, 2002
CAP Score: 58
CAP Influence Density: 0.99

MinMax: -90

ALERT: To fully understand this report you should first visit the topics suggested by the CAP Table of Contents.

To subscribe to (or unsubscribe from) our FREE text-only versions of our Entertainment Media Analysis Reports as they are calculated, visit our Mailman. If you experience difficulty with Mailman, send us your request. Your email address will NOT be given or sold to other parties.

NOTE: If you do not want the plot, ending, or "secrets" of a movie spoiled for you, skip the Summary/Commentary. In any case, be sure to visit the Findings/Scoring section -- it is completely objective to His Word and is the heart of the CAP Entertainment Media Analysis Model applied to this movie.


If Scriptural references appear, the full text appears at the end of the Summary / Commentary likely using a mix of KJV and NIV.

POSSESSION (PG-13) -- Even rulers and kings of long ago knew that the way to change a culture is to change the kids.

Production: Baltimore Spring Creek Productions, Contagious Films, USA Films, Warner Bros
Distribution: USA Films
Director(s): Neil LaBute
Producer(s): Len Amato, David Barron (I), Barry Levinson, Stephen Pevner, Guy Tannahill, Paula Weinstein
Written by/Screenplay: Novel: A.S. Byatt. Screenplay: David Henry Hwang, Laura Jones, Neil LaBute
Cinematography/Camera: Jean-Yves Escoffier
Music: Gabriel Yared
Film Editing: Claire Simpson
Casting: Mary Selway
Production Design: Luciana Arrighi
Art Direction: Susan Whitaker

With a CAP Final Score of 58 Possession is a true PG-13 in accordance with the comparative baseline database scoring range for PG-13 movies (55 to 67 out of 100), but it is equivalent to R-rated programming in Sex/Homosexuality, in this case, Sex/Lesbianism [Rom. 1:26]. Most of it is talk, but there is heterosexual intercourse in this PG-13 [1 Cor. 7:1-2]. The private areas are covered but there is no debate possible with the positioning of the actor/actress pair and by the way they were ... uh ... weren't dressed. Yes, this is bold talk in a Christian service but here you only read it. If your 13 year olds go to this movie they will not only see it, they will hear it and much smooth talk and fine-sounding arguments to excuse it [Jude 4, Col. 2:4, Rom. 16:17 - 18]. There is also a suicide by a lesbian partner. Possession is, however, an intricate piece of work in terms of digging up facts about an historical figure. And I mean digging up. Literally. When one goes digging one ends up with dirt. And this movie has its share of it.

Roland Michell (Aaron Eckhart - that's him in the upper right corner of the boxart) is on a quest in London to investigate the background of his favorite poet, Queen Victoria's own pillar of morality, Randolph Henry Ash (Jeremy Northam - lower right corner of the boxart), master at written love and model of marital fidelity. Michell stumbles upon, rather, steals from a British library two sheets of writing in Ash's own hand which seem to provide information of less-than-honorable antics of Ash: that the one thought of previously as the model of morality was indeed an adulterer of the Victorian period with feminist and lesbian Christabel LaMotte (Jennifer Ehle - the lower right coner of the boxart with Ash/Northam) with whom we later discover Ash fathered a daughter. It is around this time in the show that LaMotte's lesbian partner, Blanche Glover (Lena Headey - not pictured) commits suicide. Twice. Only in the movies. Glover sews rocks in the hem of her dress then walks into a lake or pond. The second of the "twice" is a replay of the event. For effect, of course [Exod. 20:13].

The apparent scandalous association between Ash and LaMotte led Michell to enlist the aid of the undisputed modern authority on LaMotte, Maude Bailey (Gwyneth Paltrow - upper left corner of the boxart) to further investigate the finding. And as evidence of intimacy between Ash and LaMotte rises so does the intimacy between Michell and Bailey. That "nothing happened" does not change the fact that they ended up in bed together. Unmarried [1 Cor. 7:1-2].

I ask that each of you who read this to understand this is a Christian ministry. Our standards are the teachings and expectations of He who spent three days in Hell so you and I would not have to spend one moment there. I am not going to pabulum feed you with watered-down Scripture to avoid offending anyone, not even myself, or to avoid invading the comfort zone. To get angry at me for sharing with you His expectations of us would be vain and would be the same as shooting the messenger. If you are offended by me telling you that such behaviors in this movie are sinful, you need to take it up with the One who wrote the Rules. I will NOT situationally redefine, counterfeit or conditionally apply His Word to suit modern morality [2 Tim. 3:16].

Possession is a masterful mixture of mystery with romance but with further desensitization to lesbianism (homosexuality). The lesbianism, whether intentional, is effectively presented in a way to maximize the desensitization of us to it but yet mask the real and invisible threat of such practice. There is none of the "reality" of a lesbian relationship other than talk about it and snuggling on a couch. Realize also that this movie is targeted at our youth by the mere fact of PG-13 attached to it. Even rulers and kings of long ago knew that the way to change a culture is to change the kids. Possession is also further desensitization to heterosexual immorality as well by presenting intercourse though private parts are covered [Rev. 2:20, Ps. 12:8]. Possession is also further desensitization to adultery [Prov. 6:32, Prov. 30:20]. Do each of these sins seem no longer sinful to you? Or maybe not as sinful as they used to be? [Ps. 12:8] While each of these sins is as sinful as they were when God made them sinful, now you know why they seem no longer sinful -- we embrace them in and as entertainment. The use of God's name in vain is somewhat rampant but the use of the three/four letter word is light in comparison to other PG-13 movies.

What I have yet to figure out is why these movies seem to promote suicide as a "natural consequence" of a failed homosexual relationship. I wonder what would be revealed by a study on how many movies that present failed homosexual relationships also present suicide as the chic choice to solve all problems. In view of the proven fact that behaviors in movies, good OR bad, can and do create copycat behaviors, this is not a good thing. That this movie presents lesbianism and a plethora of other sinful behaviors is bad enough. But because it presents suicide as a "viable" recourse I am going to break with my own policy and recommend that this movie be seen by no one let alone 13 year old kids (and younger).


If needed to focus or fortify, applicable text is underlined or bracketed [ ]. 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.

  • Rom. 1:26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:
  • 1 Cor. 7:1-2 Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman. Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.
  • Col. 2:4 I tell you this so that no one may deceive you by fine-sounding arguments.
  • Rom. 16:17-18 I urge you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them. For such people are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites. By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naive people.
  • Exod. 20:13 You shall not murder. [Suicide is murder of the self]
  • 2 Tim. 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
  • Rev. 2:20 Nevertheless, I have this against you: You tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess. By her teaching she misleads my servants into sexual immorality... [Maybe "Jezebel" can be likened to modern entertainment. And this is found in the Book of Revelation -- prophecy of the end times. Are we there?]
  • 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]. [I call attention to Ps. 12:8 to warn of the creeping desensitizing power of this sort of "entertainment."]
  • Prov. 6:32 But whoso committeth adultery with a woman [or man] lacketh understanding: he that doeth it destroyeth his own soul.
  • Prov. 30:20 Such is the way of an adulterous woman [or man]; she eateth, and wipeth her mouth, and saith, I have done no wickedness. [Adultery is not particular to women. It takes two to commit adultery.]

    *******Food for Daily Thought*******
  • 1 Cor. 15:33 (KJV) Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners. (NIV) Do not be misled: Bad company corrupts good character.
  • Jude 4 For certain men* whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are godless men, who change the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord. [*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 would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around his neck than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin. [cause by teaching or example]
  • Ps. 119:133 Direct my footsteps according to your word; 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.


    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.

    Possession (2002) CAP Thermometers

    Wanton Violence/Crime (W):
  • theft of priceless writing
  • threat with firearm
  • more theft (this time as if funny)
  • woman saying she killed her baby by calling herself a murderess
  • grave robbing
  • criminal deceit
  • fighting
  • a young child talking with a stranger (her father but she did not know it) and giving him a locket of her hair

    Impudence/Hate (I)(1):
  • social cruelty
  • emotional cruelty
  • blaming another for committing murder
  • five uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary

    Sex/Homosexuality (S):
  • nude art
  • cohabitation
  • statue nudity
  • sex talk
  • admission of sexual immorality
  • support of lesbianism
  • on-going lesbian relationship throughout and much talk about it
  • lesbian snuggling
  • ongoing adulterous relationship
  • portrayal that a lesbian choice is acceptable
  • much lesbian and adulterous talk
  • adults in underwear
  • inappropriate touch
  • heterosexual intercourse with private parts covered
  • man and woman in bed together, repeatedly, some with heavy contact, touching and open mouth kissing
  • gaping mouth kissing
  • aftermath of additional intercourse
  • talk of and request for intercourse as if love without it is not love
  • pregnancy by premarital intercourse

    Drugs/Alcohol (D):
  • booze
  • drinking

    Offense to God (O)(2):
  • mockery of prayer
  • mockery of God's Grace
  • participation in spiritism
  • 13 uses of God's name in vain but without the four letter expletive

    Murder/Suicide (M)(3):
  • suicide by lesbian, viewed twice

  • Please help keep this free service free by making generous tax-deductible donations to the CAP ministry (TIN: 75-2607488) by visiting Network for Good to give a tax-deductible monthly gift of $5, $10 or even $25 or greater or to make generous one-time or semi-regular donations.


    NO service charges!!!
    Donations to the CAP Ministry are Tax Deductible!!!

    Or feel free to send your gift(s) by check or money order in US dollars to:

    CAP Ministry, PO Box 177, Granbury, TX 76048-0177

    Thank you each for your support of this ministry. Please be in earnest prayer for funding that we may continue for many years and to keep this free service free.

    Please visit our sponsor:


    And please visit also these reciprocal links.


    Christian Media News

    A Singles
    Christian Network

     Click Here for a Quality Christian Site

    NOTE: The CAP Analysis Model makes no scoring allowances for trumped-up "messages" to excuse or for manufacturing of justification for aberrant behavior or imagery, or for camouflaging such ignominy with "redeeming" programming. Disguising sinful behavior in a theme plot does not excuse the sinful behavior of either the one who is drawing pleasure or example from the sinful display or the practitioners demonstrating the sinful behavior. This is NOT a movie review service. It is a movie analysis service to parents and grandparents to tell them the truth about movies using the Truth.

    "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 nearly seven 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.

    Join Christian Banner Exchange Network Today!

    (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 in vain is incorporated into the Impudence/Hate Investigation Area. The use of God's name with or without the four letter expletive is incorporated into the Offense to God Investigation Area. There is no duplication.

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

    The ChildCare Action Project (CAP) is a nonprofit Christian ministry. We rely on public support. If you wish to contribute to the CAP, please send your donations to

    ChildCare Action Project
    Post Office Box 177
    Granbury, TX 76048-0177

    Your gifts are tax deductible in accordance with Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Service Tax Codes.

    Please feel free to write to us.

    You are welcome to
    Open a new page for the CAP Reports page: (NO FRAMES) OR  (FRAMES)

    or go to the
    Top of the CAP Home Page
    or the
    CAP Table of Contents

    or leave me an email message or comment at

    Thank you for visiting us and may God bless you. Prayerfully, we will provide you with some of the most revealing commentary and investigative reporting you have ever read.

    In the name of Jesus:
    Lord, Master, Teacher, Savior, God.

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

    Copyright ChildCare Action Project (CAP) Ministry

    Since Deember 5, 2000