Captive: The Night of Purpose

Discussion Article


Warning! There are spoilers! So if you have not seen the movie, but wish to see it without spoilers - turn back now!


Written on September 17th, 2015


The night was finally here! Captive: Night of Purpose. Something I'd been excited for, and working towards attending, for the past several months. I remember when Paramount first created the Captive Twitter thread and posted their website. I had received this information from producer and screenwriter Brian Bird via his Facebook News Feed along with his other followers. I remember when I first clicked on the Paramount website and realized they were looking for people to host or join in a Night of Purpose Event.  I knew I could never get 200 people to host my own event, but I knew I wanted to join in and help get Captive’s Night of Purpose in a local theater! So I did just that. I contacted Paramount through the website and the process began…


Now several months later, I achieved what I wanted. The Night of Purpose was in a local theater only an hour away from me and now I was going to join friends and family to watch the special screening of Captive - a film I had done my best to help promote in the last several months! I couldn't help but wonder as I was doing all this how many lives it would change and how God would somehow work through this film to touch people's lives... Now I would like to show you my point of view of the movie Captive. So let the discussion begin!


Movie vs. Book

Running away from pain

It becomes quite clear from the beginning that Ashley Smith is a person that is running away from pain and grief in her life by turning to drug use to try to cope with it. She was a user before her husband died (according to the novel), but she increased the drug use after her husband's death. One of the opening scenes of the movie shows Ashley at of meeting for recovery.



Have you ever tried to run away from sadness, hurt or grief in your life?

My answer:

I think we all have tried to hide from, or run away from that type of pain. No one likes it, but that's just life. It happens. I think it is how we cope with it that makes us who we are.



What do you do to help you cope with grief?

For instance, Ashley said she had to hide from the pain so she turned to drugs, but then later she realizes that what she really needs in her life is God.

My answer:

Personally when something traumatic happens to me, including a death in the family - I write; whether it be an article or one of my fictional novels. I also use this quiet time to do a lot of praying.


A Loving Nudge


When we see Ashley and her support group, she has all but given up on life, and the only reason she is in the support group is to try to fight to get her daughter back; but you can see that her heart is not in it. She doesn't really want to be there.



    When you know you need to do something to better your life or to make a change in it somehow, do you go about it half-heartedly? Or do you just view it as another challenge God has given you in the road of life, to know you are going in the right direction, or path, He wants you to go?


After the recovery meeting, we see the woman who is running the support group approach Ashley and handing her the book The Purpose Driven Life, written by Pastor Rick Warren. She urged Ashley to read it, and said that it helped her with her struggles. She then reminded Ashley that she wasn't alone in this and that she can't do it alone.


In the book, Ashley had already purchased a Purpose Driven Life and they briefly mentioned several meetings Ashley had tried to go to and most had failed; but she was doing better in the months leading up to her kidnapping.



Have you ever had somebody in your life try to give you a nudge to get you on the right path and not be judgemental, but letting you know that you're not alone?


My answer:

I have friends in the past and present who I am very blessed with, that constantly let me know that I'm not alone; but I also know there are some people in this world that are not quite that lucky-  so I do realize how blessed I am, especially after reading this novel and watching this movie! I realize that I take those things for granted, probably more than I should. Knowing this, I am going to try to do my best to not forget how blessed I am from now on.


Confronting the problem

It was during her time as a hostage to Brian Nichols that Ashley again is put to the test and has to face her problem of drug use - a problem that has taken over her life. During this section, the movie and the book are done a little bit differently. In the movie, Ashley forces herself to be accountable - despite the terror she is enduring. During this point in time she brings the drugs out at the request of her captor. Brian Nichols put the gun to her head and tries to force her to take the drugs with him. Despite the immediate threat to her life, she refuses several times over. According to the book, he did not put a gun to her head, but Ashley goes on to explain to him how the drug has destroyed her life, and she adamantly refuses to do the drugs with him. She also tells him that she wishes he wouldn't take the drugs, because all they will do is destroy him.



Have you ever had something in your life that makes you feel like you're a slave to it? That you wanted to back away from, but it keeps pulling you back in?



I personally have not had this particular problem, that I can think of anyway, but I don’t know. If I ever had an issue similar to this, God has blessed me with many friends and family members who would be sure to pull me on the right path or at least council me.


If your answer is yes to the above question, how did you deal with your problem? Did you ask God for help? Did your family and friends help you through the ordeal?


Finding freedom

It is during her hostage situation that Ashley finds the strength to start to break free from her addiction and search for God's purpose for her life - starting with being a mother to her daughter. Both the book and the movie leave us at this point. Look for one of the many interviews online to hear more of Ashley’s story.


    I'd like to say thank you to Brian Bird for bringing such a riveting story to life. Also, it was an honor to be a part of the Night of Purpose process, and I was more than happy to do my part!




    I highly recommend this film! I suggest you find a local theater that has it available. It was released on September 18th worldwide. Though it deals with addiction and murders, it culminates with a true story of faith and redemption. I feel blessed and honored to be able to promote this film, and I want to say to the actors and actresses of this production: congratulations! It was a job well done! Ashley has dedicated her book that tells of her time with Brian Nichols to those lives that were lost that day in the courthouse and during his time that he had escaped. According to the movie and the book, she has rebuilt her life and is doing well. From all of us here at Fans of Believe Pictures, we would like to thank Ashley for sharing her story so openly!


    Also, I would like to thank the people who joined me on the Night of Purpose! I hope we are able to do an event like that again soon!


Questions for the producer/screenwriter:


Mr Bird, what is the first thing that attracted you to Ashley’s story?


Did you bring the story to Paramount? Or did Paramount bring it to you to be the screenwriter?


Did you meet with Ashley at any time during the scriptwriting process?


How long did this movie process take from start to finish?


Was the 5 minute Panel Interview with Ashley and the main actors supposed to be included in the Night of Purpose viewing?


Written by,

Amy J. Falk

Fans of Believe Pictures Productions

Where you can find Amy: