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


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Entertainment Media Analysis Report
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Trainspotting (1996), (R)
CAP Score: 31
CAP Influence Density: 6.71
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ALERT: To fully understand this report you should first visit the topics suggested by the CAP Table of Contents.

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NOTE: We make no scoring allowances for Hollywood's trumped-up "messages" to excuse, or its manufacturing of justification for aberrant behavior or imagery. 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. 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

On July 26, 2000 the American Medical Association, the American Psychological Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry released a joint statement regarding the dangers of violence in entertainment. I applaud these associations for fortifying 1 Cor. 15:33. An exceptionally important statement in the release that deserves your earnest attention is "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." [Emphasis is mine] Another statement in the report is "Viewing violence may lead to real life violence." 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 child 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 joint statement and our findings.

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


Trainspotting (R) -- a very dark and ugly movie about drug addiction.

Another movie about drugs and drug addiction to try to show how evil and circular substance abuse is while failing miserably to do so. Indeed, the opposite seems to be the case. Trainspotting recognizes and, whether intentional, magnifies the camaraderie between practitioners of drug addiction and to a much lesser extent portrays the horrors of drugs and their effects. Total and complete unconditional acceptance between addicts is the lure. There is no "need" for the social white lies, the pretense and the masks between addicts. They each know the story and no apologies or social games are needed. Indeed, they are useless. While this movie is so-so at portraying the evils and downside of illegal drug use and addiction, it is most effective at showing the camaraderie among addicts using nihilistic "Who am I, why am I here and what's the point?" self-pity generating an air of acceptance -- a most effective lure for experimentation by the immature and angry. And the importance of acceptance among peers in the youth social stratum could oft times compete with the importance of breathing. Gaining successful acceptance may be viewed as a drug itself.

There is a great deal of unacceptable programming in this movie in just about every form. While it is equivalent to G-rated movies in Murder/Suicide and in Offense to God of the CAP comparative baseline database movies, it is off-scale low in all other scorings. The W-I-S-D-O-M scoring is zero, zero, zero, zero, 86, 100.

Among the more offensive programming in the 94 minutes of Trainspotting was 144 uses of foul language, 118 of them were the most foul of the foul words, outnumbering uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary 4.5 to one [1 Pet. 3:9]. As would be expected in a "teen flick" about illegal drugs, there were many examples of illegal drug possession and consumption including the means and methods. As a group of addicts held drug parties a baby was crawling around until one day the baby was found dead from neglect and decomposing [Matt. 18:10]. Among other dangerous influences was the glorifying of a foul-mouthed criminal as a standard to emulate [2 Pet. 2:9-14]. Among the plethora of sexual matters in Trainspotting was a series of flashing scenes between three couples engaged in intercourse and other sexual activities [Col. 3:5]. And in keeping with the apparent disregard of justice in the entertainment industry, there were no consequences to anyone for the death of the baby [Prov. 21:3; Eccl. 8:11]. And if you do not like to watch someone fishing around in a freshly used "filthiest toilet in Scotland" with both hands (and diving in) to rescue drugs, don't watch Trainspotting In the end, one of the addicts made off with the payoff of a drug deal and was portrayed as on his way to "the good life." [Ps. 62:10]

While the American Medical Association, the American Psychological Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry have found that "Viewing violence may lead to real life violence"), I contend from our five-year study that any aberrant behavior, including illegal drug use, crime, sexual immorality and many others and ESPECIALLY impudence and hate may be inserted in place of "violence" in that finding.


  • (KJV) 1 Cor. 15:33 Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners. (NIV) Do not be misled: Bad company corrupts good character. • 1 Cor. 15:33 (NIV) Do not be misled: Bad company corrupts good character. (KJV) Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.
  • 1 Pet. 3:9-12 Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing. "Whoever would love life and see good days must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from deceitful speech. He must turn from evil and do good; he must seek peace and pursue it. For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil."
  • Matt. 18:10 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.
  • 2 Pet. 2:9-14 if this is so, then the Lord knows how to rescue godly men from trials and to hold the unrighteous for the day of judgment, while continuing their punishment. This is especially true of those who follow the corrupt desire of the sinful nature and despise authority. Bold and arrogant, these men are not afraid to slander celestial beings; yet even angels, although they are stronger and more powerful, do not bring slanderous accusations against such beings in the presence of the Lord. But these men blaspheme in matters they do not understand. They are like brute beasts, creatures of instinct, born only to be caught and destroyed, and like beasts they too will perish. They will be paid back with harm for the harm they have done. Their idea of pleasure is to carouse in broad daylight. They are blots and blemishes, reveling in their pleasures while they feast with you. With eyes full of adultery, they never stop sinning; they seduce the unstable; they are experts in greed -an accursed brood!
  • Col. 3:5 Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.
  • Prov. 21:3 To do justice and judgment is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice.
  • Eccl. 8:11 When the sentence for a crime is not quickly carried out, the hearts of the people are filled with schemes to do wrong.
  • Ps. 62:10 Do not trust in extortion or take pride in stolen goods; though your riches increase, do not set your heart on them.


    It is not possible to give you adequate detail about this movie of this nature in a Summary/Commentary. Please see the Findings/Scoring section below for a full accounting of the the ignominy in Trainspotting.

    FINDINGS / SCORING: Trainspotting (1996) CAP Thermometers

    NOTE: Multiple occurrences of each item described below may be likely.

    Wanton Violence/Crime (W):
  • aiming a rifle at people
  • beatings
  • theft of prescription drugs and private property to support drug habit
  • threat with a knife
  • death of a baby due to neglect during drug stupors
  • running from the law
  • bizarre imagery of drug stupors
  • long series of drug withdrawals
  • threat with a firearm
  • death by overdose
  • drug dealing/sale
  • planning drug deal
  • bloody injuries
  • intimidation with threats of violence
  • wild behavior from double-cross
  • "good life" after crime

    Impudence/Hate (I)(1):
  • shooting a dog, causing it to attack its owner
  • 118 uses of the most foul of the foul words
  • 26 uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary
  • constant air of "it ain't good enough, no matter what 'it' is"
  • fishing around in a freshly used commode with both hands
  • imagery of diving into the commode
  • praising stupidity
  • glorifying a foul-mouthed criminal as a standard to emulate
  • "It's good to let loose once in a while"
  • two-facedness with parents/adults
  • racial/nationality hatred
  • disregard for victim of drug abuse
  • hatred of parents when they are trying to help

    Sex/Homosexuality (S):
  • homosexual kiss (male to male) and coddling
  • sex talk, innuendo, comments, offers, conversations and insults
  • porn mags
  • kick to privates
  • porn video (intercourse)
  • licking kissing
  • passing drugs by tongue
  • inappropriate touch, some vulgar
  • frenzied stripping for sex
  • necking in car
  • stripping to nudity for sex
  • flashing scenes between three couples engaged in intercourse and other sexual activities
  • repeated full nudity, both male and female, during and apart from intercourse sequences
  • adults in underwear
  • self inspection, male
  • side nudity with tattooing of male member
  • picture nudity
  • additional episodes of intercourse
  • admission/boast of sexual immorality
  • homosexual inappropriate touch

    Drugs/Alcohol (D):
  • smoking
  • cooking drug fixes, preparing injections
  • many examples of illegal drug possession and consumption including the means and methods
  • glorification of illegal drug use
  • group drug "parties"
  • drinking, including guzzling
  • submerging self in raw sewage to rescue drugs
  • drug intoxication
  • revelry in drinking

    Offense to God (O)(2):
  • three uses of God's (and Jesus') name in vain, none with the four letter expletive

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

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

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