RED does not mean "stop." GREEN does not mean "go." Click on the CAPCon Alert image for explanation
CAP Movie Ministry
A ministry of the ChildCare Action Project:
Christian Analysis of American Culture (CAP Ministry)
A 501(c)(3) Nonprofit Christian Ministry.
Entertainment Media Analysis Report
A service to His little ones through you in His name by His Word

(2003), PG [PG*]
Analysis Date
CAP Final Score
CAP Influence Density
December 4, 2004
79 out of 100

The #1 Christian entertainment media analysis service on the Internet. We give you OBJECTIVE tools NO ONE ELSE CAN to help YOU make an informed decision for yourself whether a film is fit for your family. More than 900 analyses for parents, grandparents, pastors, youth leaders and more.
Give your visitors full access to over 900 CAP movie analyses! Place this image on your website and link it to

Click it to try it!

ALERT!!! We can no longer help you serve your little ones without your GENEROUS, TIMELY and CONSISTENT TAX-DEDUCTIBLE donations!  PLEASE . . . . . . .

Through PayPal

You DO NOT have to have a PayPal account.
OR by US Mail (preferred - no service charges).

Stay informed ...OBJECTIVELY...
on what Hollywood feeds your kids. SUBSCRIBE
to our FREE text-only email version of these reports and our COMING SOON notices.
Email this report to friends and
tell them about the CAP Ministry:

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 likely using a mix of KJV and NIV.

(2003), PG [PG*] -- ... gives up his life in sacrifice. In this case, for David.

Cast/Crew Details Courtesy Internet Movie Database
Production (US): Walden Media
Distribution (US): Artisan Entertainment, David Productions Ltd., Walden Media
Director(s): Paul Feig
Producer(s): Davina Belling, Andrea Borella, Lauren Levine, Clive Parsons, Plamen Voynovsky, Vladimir Voynovsky
Written by: Anne Holm (novel I Am David)
Screenplay: Paul Feig
Cinematography/Camera: Roman Osin
Music: Stewart Copeland
Film Editing: Steven Weisberg
Casting: Pippa Hall
Production Design: Giovanni Natalucci
Set Decoration: Antonello Rubino
Viewed at: United Artists/Regal Entertainment

Based on Anne Holme's 1963 "North to Freedom", I Am David is a poignant tale of a 1950s twelve year old David (Paul Tibber) with directions to escape a Bulgarian prison camp and go to Denmark with a sealed envelope he was not to open. Why David was in the prison camp was not clear but apparently because his parents (Adrian McCourt and Maria Bonnevie) were enemies of the ruling government. I Am David is a tale of his travels, of his terror and trials along the way and of the treasure at the end of his journey.

David indeed escaped the prison camp where he was doing hard labor for who-knows-what with mentor and confidante Johannes, played by James Caviezel of The Passion of the Christ. Caviezel plays a short and similarly self-sacrificing role as in The Passion of the Christ as he gives up his life in sacrifice. In this case, for David.

I am going to spoil that part of the plot to help you make your own decision about the caliber of this film without having to see it first. In the prison camp, David is in possession of a stolen bar of soap. The brutal and sadistic camp commandant felt that whoever stole the soap had to die as an example for anyone thinking of defiance. Standing next to David in the interrogation line-up, Johannes took the soap from David. Through a series of winks and knowing nods at the officer who was to kill the soap thief convinced him to take his life instead of David's. A truly noble gesture to be sure, but maybe not a good idea for adolescents to contemplate in and as entertainment. As Harvard educated child development expert Dr. Karen Nelson and other child psychology and counseling experts agree with me, it would be unusual for even a 16 year old to be able to fully separate fantasy from reality: that such ability does not typically plateaux until the early 20s.

During his trek, the writers had David bathing in a small pond of lightly murky water with the camera angle from above. Why on earth the filmmakers were not satisfied with shoulders-and-up shots, and why they would want to film the bathing beaux from overhead are beyond me. First of all, it is not likely a 12 year old lad left to himself on a survival mission would bother to lather up only a couple days into his trek. However, this was not a lad on a survival mission. It was Tibber getting paid to act in a film. Maybe the overhead view of the 12 year old boy bathing was for the newly pubescent girls in the audience. Or worse. I don't know. But I do strongly question the intentions of the filmmakers for that ignoble scene. That such was "true to the book" or that such was "play acting" do not excuse the sin of exploiting young kids, Mr. Feig. If they did, I guess we can let actors in murder films really murder. If I sound miffed at such behavior in the name of entertainment, I am.

During David's flight he met a number of noble and ignoble characters. One of the noble characters was the beneficent Sophie (the always grande and motherly, Joan Plowright) who took in David almost as her own son and was instrumental in David reaching his goal.

Another set of characters David met was an Italian family whose daughter seemed to threaten to make the film another boy/girl coming of age film. Initially the son of the family beat David up then David saved the family's daughter from a fiery death. After saving the girl she was seen holding vigilance over David's sleeping body in a bedroom as he succumbed to the much needed rest from the stress and strain of travel heaped upon by the harrowing rescue. This scene reeked of becoming a repeat of Back to the Future where Lorraine (Lea Thompson) thought the name of the bed-ridden boy, Marty (Michael J. Fox), bed-ridden because her father hit him with a car, was Calvin Klein since she saw that name stitched to his underwear when taking his clothes off to make him comfy, of course. But purity prevails in I Am David and the time with the Italian family is indeed a wholesome encounter.

The Wanton Violence/Crime (W) investigation area found a number of events such as a child under brutal/survival conditions, firearm threats and an order to kill a child, all under prison camp rule. [Prov. 3:31]

The Impudence/Hate (I) investigation area found no foul or vulgar language whatsoever but found a number of instances of lying. [Prov. 19:5]

The Sexual Immorality (S) investigation area found a scene of porn magazines with no images seen and an adult innuendo. Of most significance was the episode of the boy bathing with the camera shooting the scene from above. [Matt. 18:7]

The Drugs/Alcohol (D) investigation area noted nothing, but the Offense to God (O) investigation area found two instances of praying to saints, not to God. God gives us a "direct line" to Him. We do not need any intermediary. [Luke 11:2]

The Murder/Suicide (M) investigation area found only an unseen but heard gunfire murder. [Rev. 22:15]


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.


  • Envy thou not the oppressor, and choose none of his ways.
  • Prov. 19:5 A false witness shall not be unpunished, and he that speaketh lies shall not escape.
  • Matt. 18:7 Woe to the world because of the things that cause people to sin! Such things must come, but woe to the man through whom they come!
  • Luke 11:2 And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth.
  • Rev. 22:15 Outside [of Heaven] are the dogs, those [unforgiven] who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.

    ***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 and present it 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. 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.
  • Rom. 5:19 For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.
  • 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.
    (The heart of the CAP Analysis Model)

    I Am David (2003) CAP Thermometers

    Wanton Violence/Crime (W)
  • child under brutal survival conditions
  • firearm threats
  • military prison brutality
  • child in prison camp serving hard labor
  • firearms for control
  • setting child adrift at sea
  • child wishing he was dead
  • action violence
  • order to kill a child
  • 12 year old boy fending for himself through cities and the countryside
  • flash scenes of military brutalization of parents, repeatedly
  • bully beating
  • child running into burning building
  • assault of young boy
  • civil unrest with clash
  • child going with strangers

    Impudence/Hate (I)
  • lies, repeatedly (to protect identity, purpose, etc.)
  • "Please don't tell my parents"

    Sexual Immorality (S)
  • porn magazines (images unseen)
  • 12 year old boy bathing in translucent water with camera angle from above
  • adult speaking a sexual innuendo

    Drugs/Alcohol (D):
  • none noted

    Offense to God (O)
  • praying to saints rather than to God

    Murder/Suicide (M)
  • unseen but heard gunfire murder of an adult prisoner

  • Christian Long Distance



    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.

    Join Christian Banner Exchange Network Today!

    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 go to the
    CAP Reports page
    or go to the
    Top of the CAP Home Page
    or the
    CAP Site Map (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.
    Tom Carder
    ChildCare Action Project (CAP): Christian Analysis of American Culture
    100% dependent on your tax-deductible financial support

    Copyright ChildCare Action Project (CAP) Ministry

    Since December 5, 2000

    The Fundamental Top 500

    ChristianStats Counter TEST
    Unique. Posted 5/24/04

    Christian Long Distance

    We exist only by your tax-deductible donations. PLEASE

    Features PayPal! You do NOT need an account to donate.

    Copyright ChildCare Action Project (CAP) Ministry
    A Nonprofit Christian Ministry EIN: 75-2607488