Freedom Writers (Full Screen Edition)
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Hilary Swank stars in this story about a teacher in a racially divided school who gives her students what they ve always needed - a voice. Swank plays Erin Gruwell the real-life teacher at Long Beach s Wilson High who inspired her students to overcome the gangs that divided them and the education system that forgot them. Based on the book The Freedom Writers Diary and supported by a cast of first-time actors who drew from their actual experiences on the street Gruwell teaches us all an important lesson about tolerance and trust.System Requirements:Running Time: 122 Mins.Format: DVD MOVIE Genre: DRAMA Rating: PG - 13 UPC: 097361243245 Manufacturer No: 124324
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
- Deleted Scenes
- Making 'A Dream'
- Freedom Writers Family
- Freedom Writers: The Story Behind the Story
- Theatrical Trailer
- Photo Gallery
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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.
I have been fortunate enough to have attended the Freedom Writer's Institute (training for teachers who are interested in teaching the book). There is a lesson plan book with activities to go along with the movie and book.
Students easily identify with the social issues, confrontations, and characters. I shared this with out ESL department and for some of the students it was the first book they ever read cover to cover. Yes, there are some curse words in the book and some adult issues (dying, gang violence, etc). However, these issues are what our kids have to deal with on a daily basis.
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There is a new book coming out soon that is the teachers version of the Freedom Writers Diary which is a must for any teacher or adult who works with kids.
I personally have used many of the items in the book and more. If you want kids to read and write BUY this move and book. We have a class set at our school to share among the teachers. I can't say enough about this book.