caption = Promotional movie poster for the film
Danny DeVito Michael Shamberg Stacey Sher
Hilary Swank Tracy Durning Nan Morales Dan Levine
Richard LaGravenese, based on The Freedom Writers Diaryby Erin Gruwelland her class.
Hilary Swank Patrick Dempsey Scott Glenn Imelda Staunton
Mark Isham, will.i.am, RZA
January 5, 2007
runtime = 122 mins.
language = English
website = http://www.freedomwriters.com/
amg_id = 1:326847
imdb_id = 0463998
"Freedom Writers" is a 2007 American film starring
Hilary Swank, Scott Glenn, Imelda Stauntonand Patrick Dempsey. It is based on the book " The Freedom Writers Diary" by teacher Erin Gruwellwho wrote the story based on Woodrow Wilson Classical High Schoolin Long Beach, California. The title is a play on both the terms of " Freedom Riders", the black and white civil rightsactivists who tested the U.S. Supreme Court decision ordering the desegregationof interstate buses in 1961, and Freedom Fighters, as in somebody who fights for freedom.
The film opens with footage of the
Los Angeles riots of 1992and introduces Eva ( April Lee Hernández), a Latinawhose father was wrongly arrested for supposed retaliation to a drive-by shooting. She is initiated in a gang, and only goes to Wilson High School because her choice was to either go to boot camp or go to school. The Long Beachhigh school and its area are the place of a gang war, where hatred and racism abound. Meanwhile, naive first-time teacher Erin Gruwell( Hilary Swank) gets a job teaching freshman English at Wilson High School. Her first day at school is a shock to her, as she sees a fight almost break out in her classroom and a full scale gang battle at the school. Her students do not obey her and continuously talk back to her.
One night, 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 on him, 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 a diary, 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, and 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", or Anne Frank's diary, they decide to invite Miep Giesover to talk to them. After fundraising the money to send 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. Meanwhile, Gruwell gives her students a project to write their diary in the form of a book. She compiles the projects into a book and names it "The Freedom Writer Diaries", after the Freedom Riders. 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.
Freedom Writers (soundtrack)
Common has lent his talents to the soundtrack with "
A Dream" (featuring will.i.am). The song was produced by Black Eyed Peasmember will.i.am. The soundtrack also includes the Tupac Shakursong " Keep Ya Head Up".
Instrumental sections of Sia's "Breathe Me" accompany the film's television trailer.
Hilary Swankas Erin Gruwell
Scott Glennas Steve Gruwell
Patrick Dempseyas Scott Casey
Imelda Stauntonas Margaret Campbell
April Lee Hernándezas Eva Benitez
*Mario as Andre Bryant
Kristin Herreraas Gloria Munez
Jaclyn Nganas Sindy Ngor
Sergio Montalvoas Alejandro Santiago
*Jason Finn as Marcus
Deance Wyattas Jamal Hill
Vanetta Smithas Brandy Ross
Gabriel Chavarriaas Tito
Hunter Parrishas Ben Daniels
*Antonio García as Miguel
Giovonnie Samuelsas Victoria
John Benjamin Hickeyas Brian Gelford
Robert Wisdomas Dr. Carl Cohn
*Pat Carroll as
Armand "Prozpect" Jonesas Grant Rice
*A slight reference is made to the
Showtimeseries " Weeds" when Hilary Swank asks the students, "Who knows where to get drugs" and Hunter Parrish, who is a regular on the show, steps on the line.
*The idea for the film came from journalist Tracey Durning, who made a documentary about
Erin Gruwellfor the ABC Newsprogram Primetime Live. Durning served as co-executive producer of the film.
*Vanetta Smith was also in the TV Series
Enduranceprior to this film.
*Swank and Dempsey perviously co-starred in the period piece
Iron Jawed Angels.
One Eight Seven"
The Diary of Anne Frank"
Stand and Deliver"
Lean on Me"
The Ron Clark Story"
* [http://www.freedomwriters.com/ Freedom Writers] - Official Website
*imdb title|id=0463998|title=Freedom Writers
* [http://madeinatlantis.com/movies_central/2007/freedom_writers.htm Freedom Writers Production Notes]
* [http://www.efilmcritic.com/feature.php?feature=2044 eFilmCritic.com interview with educator Erin Gruwell and real-life Freedom Writer Maria Reyes on "Freedom Writers"]
* [http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/freedom_writers/ 69% "Fresh" rating] at "
* [http://www.celebritywonder.com/movie/2007_Freedom_Writers.html CelebrityWonder.com - "Freedom Writers" Trailers And Reviews]
* [http://www.cinematical.com/2007/01/06/interview-freedom-writers-erin-gruwell-jason-finn-and-maria-r/ 'Cinematical' interview with Erin Gruwell, Jason Finn, and Maria Reyes]
* [http://movies.nytimes.com/2007/01/05/movies/05free.html New York Times review of film]
* [http://www.learningforacause.org Learning for a Cause] , a Canadian educational organization of similar nature. Learning for a Cause has published a number of books written collectively in the classroom.
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Look at other dictionaries:
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Freedom Writers — Filmdaten Deutscher Titel Freedom Writers Produktionsland Deutschland, USA … Deutsch Wikipedia
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Freedom Writers (disambiguation) — Freedom Writers may refer to the following:*Freedom Writers Foundation a charitable organization started by Erin Gruwell and former students of Wilson Classical High School in Long Beach, California * Freedom Writers a 2007 film inspired by the… … Wikipedia
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