Captive (1998)

Film details


Sam Hoffman is a young and beautiful model whose dreams are finally realized when she marries the wealthy Sal. However her elation turns to grief when Sal is brutally murdered by an unknown assailant on their wedding night.

Blaming herself, Sam attempts suicide. Her new brother-in-law Joel suggests she spend time in a plush clinic to recover and she checks in to the Dinel Institute. On registering Sam signs a document, as a formality, naming Joel her legal guardian. It isn't long before Sam realizes that Dinel is more an asylum than a rest home. She shares a room with Lissy, a mute young woman who was sexually abused by her father and who continues to be abused by one of the male orderlies. As Sam attempts to rescue the young girl from her aggressor she scratches his face. The following day Dr Hager, the Head of Staff questioned Sam and does not accept Sam's version of the incident, and instead asserts that she is on the edge of madness and lashed out at the innocent orderly. Labelled as a person who could harm herself and others, she is held against her will.

Sam turns to Doctor Kossim, the only person she trusts at the institute, her doctor Kossim, but she seems powerless to help.

Desperate, Sam attempts to report her allegations to Detective Briscoe, the cop in charge of the investigation into her husband's death, but he dismisses her as hysterical. Drugged, harassed and alone, Sam eventually befriends her mute roommate Lissy. The two devise a plan for Sam to escape, but when the plan fails Sam realizes that she is a pawn in a deadly game involving her husband's fortune and his murder.

Taking charge of her own destiny, Sam must race against time to uncover those responsible for holding her incarcerated - could it be Hager? Joel? Detective Briscoe? Or someone unknown - someone with a deadly motive - someone determined to keep her Captive, or is Sam herself, not quite what she seems?

Cast & Credits

Latest from the BFI

  • Latest from the BFI

    Latest news, features and opinion.

More information

Films, TV and people

  • Films, TV and people

    Film lists and highlights from BFI Player.

More information

Sight & Sound magazine

  • Sight & Sound magazine

    Reviews, interviews and features from the international film magazine.

More information

Back to the top