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Christian Analysis of American Culture (CAP Ministry)
Entertainment Media Analysis Report
A service to His little ones (which includes at-home teens) through you, their parents and grandparents, in His name by His Word

(2003), R

Analysis Date
CAP Final Score
CAP Influence Density
October 24, 2003
43 out of 100

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ALERT: To fully understand this report you should first visit the topics suggested by the CAP Site Map (Table of Contents). Further, 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.

(2003), R ... Are we not starving our own children...?

Cast/Crew Details Courtesy Internet Movie Database
Production (US): Camelot Pictures, Mandalay Pictures
Distribution (US): Paramount Pictures
Director(s): Martin Campbell
Producer(s): Dan Halsted, Amy Lescoe, Lloyd Phillips, John D. Schofield
Written by/Screenplay: Caspian Tredwell-Owen
Cinematography/Camera: Phil Meheux
Music: James Horner
Film Editing: Nicholas Beauman
Casting: Pam Dixon Mickelson
Production Design:
Art Direction: Claude Paré
Viewed At: Hollywood Theaters, Burleson, Texas

Sarah Jordan (Angleina Jolie) is a well-to-do high society lady in London of 1984 and has married a modern but milquetoast man of means, Henry Bauford (Linus Roache). During a peaceful charity ball by Henry's father, Dr. Nicholas Callahan (Clive Owen) appeared with less than honorable intentions. He burst into the fund raising dinner as if he was about to spray the room with automatic gunfire. Instead, he came in armed with an animated speech and a little Ethiopian boy suffering severe malnutrition. Dr. Callahan was using intimidation to garner money for his relief efforts in Ethiopia.

In the middle of Dr. Callahan's soliloquy, someone threw a banana on the now empty dance floor. Picking it up he asked if he was now supposed to do a money imitation .... silence. Instead he gave the banana to the boy explaining the 300 calories in it was more than the boy had to eat in a week. Callahan further asked the crowd if they wanted the boy to do a monkey imitation in exchange for the food. He did. And that intimidation worked. But only on Sarah.

From that moment Sarah became consumed with the plight of the starving children. Dr. Callahan had explained the spindly young lad was dying and was one of about 30 that die per week; that the amount each of the charity ball attendees spent on a plate was enough to feed many Ethiopians. Sarah decided not only to put up her $40,000 for the Ethiopian relief efforts but to deliver the food and medical supplies it bought herself. Why would a high society woman of London traipse off to dirty and arid Ethiopia? Was her heart for the children? Or was it for something? Someone else? Ceratinly if it was someone else it was not for the creep who gave a baby a live grenade to play with.

Then Sarah got first-hand evidence of war-torn, famine-ridden Ethiopia where brutality was a way of life. Arriving at a camp Sarah noticed a toddler alone and crying. Sarah ordered the driver to stop, nearly causing a cascade of rear-end collisions between the four trucks of supplies. Hurling herself out of the truck and scooping up the boy, Sarah noticed his mother dying just a few feet away. Against adamant argument from the driver who took the attitude of "So what!? They are dying!" Sarah took the boy and his mother to Dr. Callahan. Callahan did a quick triage on the mother and decided she was dying and there was nothing that could be done: that the toddler, too, was dying and there was nothing that could be done.

After some dog-n-cat discussion about the value of the lives of the mother and her baby, Callahan agrees to do surgery on the mother's injuries but without anesthetic -- they didn't have any. But the mother with her chest wide open and no anesthetics reassures Sarah that the pain of the surgery is less than the pain of her hunger. Sarah nourishes the boy with high energy concentrate a drop at a time. I don't see whether the mother and son make it.

Later, after Sarah returns to London and after Dr. Callahan goes to Cambodia, Sarah starts a job with the United Nations. Dr. Nick shows up with a plea to put the UN stamp on a shipment he has ready for the Cambodian refugees and explains that without the UN stamp the shipment would not likely make it to the people who need it. As it turns out, Callahan had packed some arms in the supplies for the CIA. That is why Callahan needed the UN stamp. But does that deception and corruption daunt Sarah's feelings for Callahan?

Such is the flavor of *Beyond Borders*. Everybody is hungry and everybody is dying. And it does seem to be somewhat of a vulgarization of the plight of the Ethiopians and others to make a romance wannabe movie with a backdrop of true death and dying. But a romance it is. At first, the fur flies between Dr. Callahan and Sarah. Soon, the ripping of fur becomes stroking of fur. I think it was in Cambodia that they become bed partners in adultery [Prov. 6:32]. Or was it in Chechnya after Sarah rescued Callahan? Does it matter? I think it was in Cambodia because Sarah returned to London for four years and again showed up with Callahan as a UN representative and news that he had a daughter.

One of the comments Sarah made that fit her precisely into the focus of Prov. 30:20 was her excusing of her adultery with the "marriage is over." It was obvious she wanted the adulterous relationship enough to hate her own children enough to leave them for another man, enough to disregard her commitment and the hard work it takes to build and keep a marriage. Of course she made the obligatory remarks that she was not leaving the kids, just Henry. But actions speak louder than words. And her actions set her guilt. [Eph. 5:22 - 25; Col. 3:18, 19; 1 Pet. 3:1, 1 Pet. 3:7 - 8 with emphasis on 1 Pet. 3:8, " ye all of one mind..."]. Husbands and wives must each "tolerate" the oddities of each other, volunteer to compromise the oddities that offend, shaping each other into a compatible pair, not a contemptible duo. We must always avoid the temptations outside the marriage which make the marriage seem burdensome, bothersome and just plain not good enough. Soap Operas are notorious for making one of the married pair set their expectations selfishly too high ... and feel entitled at the same time. There is always someone who will tell you what you have is not good enough and that you are worth more. By whose standards are you worth more? In the end, whose standards will measure your decisions. More on this, much more, if we can find full funding.

While a constant theme of adultery makes the movie bad enough, the 29 uses of the most foul of the foul words plus the 28 uses of the other words of the three/four letter word vocabulary make it downright uncomfortable [ Col. 3:8]. And the six uses of God's name in vain, though without the four letter expletive, didn't help the score either. Yes, it is sinful to use God's name in the ever popular three syllable sentence with His name trailing it AND the various uses of Jesus' name in a like exclamatory manner [Deut 5:11]. The brutality, the two cold blooded gunfire murders, the murderous endangerment of a baby, the attempted gunfire murder and the many military killings didn't help the score if it either. The listing in the Findings/Scoring section will provide all that was noted.

But there is room for thought in one of the "messages" of the movie, the message about saving the starving children. Are we not starving our own children in a Spiritual sense? [Matt. 10:42] You fill in the blanks.

SPECIAL NOTE: We will be reducing the volume of coverage in the Summary/Commentary section of our reports and the number of reports generated in an effort to reduce costs until full funding can be achieved. The Findings/Scoring section of each report, the heart of the analysis model, will NOT be reduced in any way.

Thank you for your patience as we diligently search for funding. Anyone who wishes to volunteer to help us locate 501(c)(3) nonprofit funding and sponsors is encouraged to notify me.


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.

  • Prov. 6:32 But whoso committeth adultery with a woman lacketh understanding: he that doeth it destroyeth his own soul.
  • Prov. 30:20 Such is the way of an adulterous woman; she eateth, and wipeth her mouth, and saith, I have done no wickedness.
  • Eph. 5:22 - 25 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
  • Col. 3:18, 19 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them.
  • 1 Pet. 3:1 Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation [anastrofe {an-as-trof-ay'}: manner of life, conduct, behaviour,] of the wives;
  • 1 Pet. 3:7 - 8 Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered. (8) Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous:
  • Col. 3:8 But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.
  • 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.]
  • Matt. 10:42 And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward.

    ***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. 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 (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 [warp, distort, falsely represent, situationally redefine, counterfeit, conditionally apply] 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.


    Beyond Borders (2003) CAP Thermometers

    Wanton Violence/Crime (W)
  • assault with injury
  • death of young child by exposure
  • horrors of Ethiopian plight
  • decaying body with flies feeding on it
  • dying gore
  • multiple beatings with rifle stocks
  • frenzy for food with beatings
  • injury gore, repeatedly
  • surgery gore
  • military brutality, repeatedly
  • threat with firearm to face
  • knife attack with severe facial laceration
  • multiple defensive killings with brutality
  • amputations
  • sniper attack with death and mayhem
  • auto gunfire to kill, repeatedly
  • warfare violence
  • warfare gore
  • frozen bodies
  • graphic gunfire to kill with bullet impacts seen
  • death by landmine

    Impudence/Hate (I)
  • 28 uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary
  • 29 uses of the most foul of the foul words
  • marital argument
  • hatred of children in favor of adulterous relationship

    Sexual Immorality (S)
  • camera angle to force viewer on private parts, repeatedly
  • vulgar comment, repeatedly
  • tongue kissing and in adultery
  • intercourse (no genitals seen)
  • man and woman in bed nude the morning after in adultery
  • below navel skin - male

    Drugs/Alcohol (D):
  • ball wine
  • smoking, repeatedly
  • using cigarettes and booze to barter for special privileges
  • drinking, repeatedly
  • bar

    Offense to God (O)
  • six uses of God's name in vain without the four letter expletive
  • evident adultery
  • buidling adultery
  • adulterous kiss, repeatedly
  • excusing adultery with "marriage is over"
  • long talk of adulterous "love"
  • child by adultery (the child itself is not sinful, but the act is)

    Murder/Suicide (M)
  • gunfire murder of mother
  • additional gunfire murder

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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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