Freedom Writers (Widescreen Edition)
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Top Customer Reviews
Amazon's has it all right in their comments on this underrated, wonderfully acted, and fair treatment of our current education system that all too often gives up on what it considers the "undesirables" present in every school, the teachers who think that they know it all (both villain and heroine in this film), and the kids who believe that they have no reason to even try to prove others wrong.
The dialogue is blisteringly realistic, sensitive, insightful, and painfully honest most of the time. In many ways there are no real villains in this film although there are two specific teachers who attempt to give Swank's character difficulty either because she is attempting to succeed where others have failed, or because she thinks she is better than others or has the key to her students' success if others would just get out of her way. It's easy to see the veteran teachers' resentment for Swank as Gruwell. She is brash, naive, overconfident, obsessive, and appears to want to outshine her colleagues although that really isn't her intent, but one can see how a veteran teacher would see her as a threat to their status which they feel, and rightly so to some degree, have earned. Simply because these older veteran teachers may not be as "on fire" as Gruwell, who is new to the profession, doesn't mean they aren't still dedicated. In their defense, Gruwell really does just dismiss their experience, expertise, and dedication to the education profession because they have become a bit more jaded by their life experiences in this profession. She does come off rather self-righteous at the wrong times such as when she's actually seeking help. Talk about ironic.Read more ›
It's based on fact and what a teacher, Erin Gruwell, does to turn around a class of kids who seem helpless. It's far better than Higher Learning or Dangerous Minds. It's got a fantastic cast in it and they all did such a great job. Hillary's character starts out a little niave because she thinks from the start that it's going to be a piece of cake to teach this class English. However, soon after they arrive at the first lesson, she sees it's going to be an uphill battle. A little on in the movie, after she sees a drawing someone drew of a black student, she begins to get them thinking about how these actions can take their toll, by refering to the way Jews were drawn in newspaper cartoons back in the beginning of the Nazi uprise. These kids have never heard of the Holocaust and she overtime, helps them see what Jews faced when the Nazi's took over Germany and other parts of Europe (she takes them to the Simon Weisenthal Museum of Tolorance) and she plays games with them where they divide into two sides of the room and come to the center of the room for each thing they have in common (such as whether they've lost someone they love in gang violence, or whether they have the same music taste). Soon they see that it doesn't matter if they are Black, White, Hispanic or Cambodian - they are all so similar in so many ways and they shouldn't let race divide them.
You HAVE to see this brilliant movie.Read more ›
HAVING.THIS MOVIE TOUCHED ME IN A WAY AND IT ALMOST MADE ME CRY.I CANT EVEN LOOK AT MY OWN SCHOOL AND LIFE THE SAME WAY.IM HISPANIC AND TO SEE
HOW THEY WERE BEING TREATED IN THIS MOVIE.THAT YOU COULD BE SHOT ALMOST ANYWHERE IN DAYLIGHT.IT GOT ME KINDA SCARED AND SHOWED ME HOW LIFE REALLY
IS IN THE OUTSIDE WORLD.THIS MOVIE SHOWED ME HOW LIFE CAN BE REALLY CRUEL
IN SOME WAYS BUT IT CAN BE GOOD TOO.NOW I SEE WHAT MY PARENTS AND TEACHERS ARE TRYING TO TELL US.THAT WE CAN BE WUT EVER WE WANNA BE
AND TO MAKE SOMETHING OF OUR LIVES.JUST LIKE HILARY SWANK IS DOING THE SAME IN THE MOVIE TRYING TO GET IT OUT TO HER STUDENTS.
I CANT WAIT FOR THE MOVIE TO COME OUT ON DVD TO PURCHASE IT.
Erin Gruwell, new to teaching and on unfamiliar ground, starts out by absorbing the abuse given by her students and eventually finds ways to break down the racial tension and communicate with them. She is able to accomplish this even with the school principal and department head of English are not supporting her methods or acknowledging her successes. On her own, Erin Gruwell works two extra part-time jobs to help pay for school books and other materials that she cannot get from her own administration. So much of her time is spent on bettering her students that even her marriage begins to deteriorate.
Beginning a new class project where everyone is to keep a journal and make daily entries, Erin Gruwell eventually reads the journals, with the approval of her students, and begins to connect with them even more in that she now understands the pain in their lives and hardships they have faced. This also drives her to become even more influential in their education and give them hope and inspiration in becoming what they never thought they could. The students in her class, some being the first in their families to ever graduate high school and then go to college, do just that. They eventually call themselves Freedom Writers and they also put their journal entries together to create the `Freedom Writers Diary' which was published in 1999.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I just watched this movie for the first time. I am overwhelmed by the amazing differences made in the lives of these students. Read morePublished 20 hours ago by Sophia Damiani
The movie was absolutely beautiful!!!!!!!! I really recommend this movie!!Published 3 days ago by Alejandra
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