Have you seen the "The Freedom Writers" movie?

Philippines
July 10, 2009 10:10pm CST
I just saw the movie last Thursday before we get deployed in our off campus teaching next week. Here's the plot of the movie I've copy-pasted from Wikipedia. =D The storyline of the movie takes place between 1992-1995, beginning with scenes from the 1992 Los Angeles Riots. Hilary Swank plays the role of Erin Gruwell, a new, excited schoolteacher who leaves the safety of her hometown, Newport Beach, to teach at Woodrow Wilson High School in Long Beach, where a new integration program puts students of all backgrounds and races in classes together. Her enthusiasm quickly dwindles away when she realizes that her class (all at-risk students, also known as "unteachables") are not the happy-go-lucky eager students she was expecting. They must be forced into class by security guards and segregate themselves into racial groups in the classroom. The tension is apparent every time students from one race look at those from another. Not only does she meet opposition from her students, she also has a hard time with her department head, who believes she should focus less on teaching her students to learn and read, and more on teaching them discipline and obedience. One night, two students, Eva and a Cambodian refugee, Sindy (Jaclyn Ngan), find themselves in the same convenience store. Another student, Grant Rice (Armand Jones), is frustrated at losing an arcade game and demands a refund from the owner. When he storms out, Eva's boyfriend attempts a driveby shooting, accidentally killing Sindy's boyfriend. As Eva is a witness, she must testify at court; she intends to protect her own kind in her testimony. At school, Gruwell intercepts a racist drawing of one of her students and uses it to teach them about the Holocaust. She gradually begins to earn their trust and buys them composition books to record their diaries, in which they talk about their experiences of being abused, seeing their friends die, and being evicted. Determined to reform her students, she takes two part-time jobs to pay for more books and spends more time at school, to the disappointment of her husband (Patrick Dempsey). Her students start to behave with respect and learn more. A transformation is especially visible in one of her students, Marcus (Jason Finn). She invites several Holocaust survivors to talk with her class about their experiences and takes them on a field trip to the Museum of Tolerance. Meanwhile, her unorthodox teaching methods are scorned by her colleagues and department chair Margaret Campbell (Imelda Staunton). The next year comes, and Gruwell teaches her class again for sophomore year. In class, when reading The Diary of a Young Girl, they invite Miep Gies to talk to them. After fundraising the money to bring her over, she tells them her experiences hiding Anne Frank. When Marcus tells her that she is his hero, she denies it, claiming she was merely doing the right thing. Her denial causes Eva to rethink lying during her testimony. When she testifies, she finally breaks down and tells the truth, much to some family members demise. Meanwhile, Gruwell asks her students to write their diaries book form. She compiles the entries and names it The Freedom Writers Diary. Her husband divorces her and Margaret tells her she cannot teach her kids for their junior year. She fights this decision, eventually convincing the superintendent to allow her to teach her kids' junior and senior year. The film ends with a note that Gruwell successfully brought many of her students to graduation and college.
1 person likes this
6 responses
@PeacefulWmn9 (10424)
• United States
12 Jul 09
Hello Cec...this movie sounds very enthralling, and I'd love to see it soon! I wonder, do you know if it is based on a true story? It's sound like it very well could be! Thank you telling us about it. Karen
1 person likes this
• Philippines
13 Jul 09
Hi karen.. yes it's a true story and what amazes me is that teachers who can "change" students really do exist.. I really do hope I can be that kind of teacher, just like Ms. G in the movie =D I'm quite scared in my off-campus teaching this week and this movie was indeed a good starter for me on my way to my on-the-job training.. Anyway, I suggest that you watch the movie.. Guaranteed a tearjerker and you'll really learn a lot and understand how it is to be a teacher.
1 person likes this
• United States
13 Jul 09
I admire those who teach...and it might surprise many to know the impact they leave with their students. Some have changed so many lives in such dramatic ways, so kudos to you for the work you do.
1 person likes this
• United States
12 Jul 09
It's a good movie. A based on a true story movie along the same lines as Dangerous Minds or Stand and Deliver (although I don't remember if Dangerous Minds was based on fact or not). Stubborn, young, idealistic teacher takes on the challenge of caring about the kids no one cares about, to fabulous ends. It kind of got some bad reviews but I never listen to the reviewers. I thought it was good.
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• Philippines
13 Jul 09
Well I guess the fact that it's a true story makes it more interesting.. Much interesting to me though since like the teacher, I will be deployed in my off campus teaching next week and as a newbie in the field I'm having some doubts whether I'd make it or not. This movie inspired me somehow, especially that I can relate to it. I really do hope I can be like Ms. G, the teacher in the movie. =D I haven't read the Freedom Writers Diary yet, but I'd like to check on it some time.
• Philippines
13 Jul 09
I have seen it several times on cable, and I love it! the first time I saw it, I cried and i was so touched, cause being a teacher is my ultimate dream, and the kind of teacher that she is..well, let's just say that I want to be her someday. After I saw it, I told my sister about the movie and made her watch it.. and she enjoyed it so much.. I just love the story and the ending. =)
• India
12 Jul 09
yea i hav seen this movie in tv last month,it is a nice story,it was a happened story
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@snowy22315 (44120)
• United States
12 Jul 09
I havent heard of this movie, but it seems like it would be a good one to check out. I am interested in various movies and this sounds like one that would really make me think. I think it is a very good plot and one that would really ask the question What is education?
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• India
11 Jul 09
This is one of the best movies I have seen in a while. The plot os simply superb. The soundtrack is great too. I loved how a teacher can bring a change in someone's life. I do not know about the racism, but it's a fact that very few students respect their teachers at school. They just think that it's another person standing there trying to tell them what's right and what's wrong. I have never understood this mentality of so many students who think that they know better than the teacher. bourne