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


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Entertainment Media Analysis Report
A service to parents and grandparents

Tracy's Choices (197), (Not Rated)
CAP Score: 79
CAP Influence Density: 0.41

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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 purely objective 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.

TRACY'S CHOICES (Not Rated) -- just one little joint wouldn't hurt.

NOTE: Though *Tracy's Choices* presents the best possible message of all messages in film -- of coming to Christ -- the CAP Analysis Model (the Findings/Scoring section) makes no scoring allowances for "messages" which may tend to excuse 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 from the sinful display or the practitioners demonstrating the sinful behavior. Judgment of the positive merits of a film are left up to you, the parents and grandparents. We just tell you the objective truth about the content of a film to help YOU make and informed decision whether a film is or is not fit for your kids and/or yourself and we use the teachings and expectations of Jesus to decide what to tell you. Unlike the MPAA, we do not assume we know what age is best for your kids to be exposed to aberrant behavior or imagery. We just tell you what is there ... YOU decide whether it is fit or not. This film is an excellent teaching tool but it is not our place to decide when your kids should learn about such harshness.

*Tracy's Choices* is the true story, the tragic documentary of Tracy Eichman. Of how she was the first to be tried and convicted for knowingly attempting to spread the HIV virus to others through prostitution; of how Lt. Mays of the Rockford PD led her first into a jail cell, then onto the path to Jesus; of how she let drugs and prostitution kill her. Yes, I said "let." That term expresses one of the key teaching points repeatedly presented in this film -- personal accountability.

Tracy thought just one little joint wouldn't hurt: that this little joint can't be that bad. But Tracy is the epitome of that which the liberalists and humanists try so hard to belittle and confuse -- the truth that one little joint leads to more severe risks. One little joint is what led Tracy in her path to death by AIDS. The one little joint eventually fed her embracement of the "It ain't good enough, not matter what 'it' is" syndrome which led to more marijuana which led to snorting which led to shooting with drinking amidst all this. And to pay for her habit, she turned to prostitution at the age of 17.

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Much of the film is a retelling of the same argument against adolescent rebellion and arrogance. But this film does it in a most unpolitically correct, anti-humanist way true to its title. "YOU are responsible for you", "...YOUR responsibility...", "...YOUR choice..." and other variations of this sometimes hard reality is used frequently in the film -- that your behavior, your decisions are ultimately YOUR CHOICE. And this is what makes this film a very, very useful teaching tool for mom/dad. The point being that this film does not whitewash personal accountability as do so many films and even public education programs of self esteem at the expense of self respect.

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*Tracy's Choices* puts a fine point on the issue of aberrant behavior being *choices* by not calling them "mistakes." Labeling poor behavioral choices as "mistakes" seems to falsely absolve the doer of his/her accountability with phantom implications of innocence. Tracy's story is not one of mistakes but of one poor choice after another. No attempt was made to blame her parents. Indeed, no fingers were pointed at all except at the ones who made the poor choices.
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In this 37 minute video, timed from the first presentation of audio/video programming to the first credit, there were no issues of gratuitous sexuality, no use of the three/four letter word vocabulary, no uses of God's name in vain with or without the four letter expletive, no murders or suicides and no issues of wanton violence or crime noted. However, some issues that should warrant close attention by parents and grandparents included much speaking to the use of illegal drugs as a release or to their power to control and destroy the user and pictorial presentation of illegal drugs and paraphernalia, much the same as presented in D.A.R.E which has been drawing much negative attention of late. Smoking, booze and drunkenness were also present. Of concern regarding the ultra-impressionability of many adolescents and suggestibility of emboldenment by familiarity were comments by Tracy such as "Maybe I can help people more by [being bad]" and "I knew God hated me ... I know I did."
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For more than five years the CAP analysis model has been accurately plotting films. With a CAP Final Score of 79 and an influence density of 0.41 confidence is high that *Tracy's Choices* is equivalent to a little above a middle-of-the-road PG movie.


*******Food for 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]

    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.

    FINDINGS / SCORING: Tracy's Choices (1997) CAP Thermometers

    Wanton Violence/Crime (W):
  • none noted

    Impudence/Hate (I)(1):
  • story of prostitution: "I didn't live bad, by the way (meaning she lived prosperously)."
  • "I knew God hated me ... I know I did."
  • "Maybe I can help people more by [being bad]."

    Sex/Homosexuality (S):
  • none noted

    Drugs/Alcohol (D):
  • stories of consumption abuse
  • booze
  • smoking
  • scene of drugs and paraphernalia
  • drunkenness

    Offense to God (O)(2):
  • none noted

    Murder/Suicide (M)(3):
  • none noted

    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 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 aplaud these associations for fortifying 1 Cor. 15:33. Read the rest of the story. From our five-year 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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    (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.

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