Freedom Writers [Blu-ray]
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"Freedom Writers" is inspired by a true story and the diaries of real Long Beach teenagers after the LA riots during the worst outbreak of interracial gang warfare.Hilary Swank stars as Erin Gruwell whose passion to become a teacher is soon challenged by a group of Black Latino and Asian gangbangers who hate her even more than each other. When Erin begins to listen to them in a way no adult has ever done she begins to understand that for these kids getting through the day alive is enough -- they are not delinquents but teenagers fighting "a war of the streets" that began long before they were born.Erin gives them something they never had from a teacher before -- respect. For the first time these teens experience a hope that maybe they might show the world that their lives matter and they have something to say.Run Time: 122 minutesFormat: BLU-RAY DISC Genre: DRAMA Rating: PG - 13 UPC: 097361243917 Manufacturer No: 124391
Though the "inspirational teacher" theme may feel done to death, Freedom Writers succeeds because it emphasizes the students as much as the teacher. Erin Gruwell (Hilary Swank, Million Dollar Baby, Boys Don't Cry) comes to a southern California high school bubbling over with naive optimism, but quickly discovers that her unruly classroom isn't easily won over by her good intentions. After a few floundering attempts to connect with her students, Gruwell gives them the assignment of keeping journals about their own lives--an assignment that the class bites into with relish, which eventually bonds them together and pushes racial rivalries aside. This plotline has been made before, sometimes well, sometimes poorly; Freedom Writers, by drawing heavily from the published journals of the students--and thanks to a (mostly) unheroic script, direction that emphasizes individual characters over stereotypes, and rigorous performances from the whole cast--makes the story seem fresh and genuine. Swank does solid work, but the standouts are April L. Hernandez as a girl whose gang wants her to lie and send an innocent boy to jail and Imelda Staunton (Vera Drake) as a teacher who resents Gruwell's offbeat success. Also featuring Patrick Dempsey (Grey's Anatomy), Scott Glenn (The Right Stuff), and a plethora of strong young actors. --Bret Fetzer
Beyond Freedom Writers
More Inspirational Teacher Films on DVD
The Freedom Writers Diary
by Erin Gruwell
More DVDs Starring Hilary Swank
- 1080p High Definition
- Blu-ray 50
- Deleted Scenes
- Making A Dream
- Freedom Writers Family
- The Story Behind The Story
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Top Customer Reviews
It is based on the book The Freedom Writers Diary by teacher Erin Gruwell who wrote the story based on Woodrow Wilson Classical High School in the Eastside neighborhood of Long Beach, California. The movie is also based on the DC program called City at Peace. The title is a play on the term "Freedom Riders", referring to the multiracial civil rights activists who tested the U.S. Supreme Court decision ordering the desegregation of interstate buses in 1961.