3 Freedom Writers

Freedom Writers

Infobox Film
name =

caption = Promotional movie poster for the film
director = Richard LaGravenese
producer = Danny DeVito
Michael Shamberg
Stacey Sher
eproducer = Hilary Swank
Tracy Durning
Nan Morales
Dan Levine
aproducer =
writer = Richard LaGravenese, based on The Freedom Writers Diary by Erin Gruwell and her class.
starring = Hilary Swank
Patrick Dempsey
Scott Glenn
Imelda Staunton
music = Mark Isham, will.i.am, RZA
cinematography = Jim Denault
editing = David Moritz
distributor = Paramount Pictures
released = January 5, 2007
runtime = 122 mins.
country = USA
awrds =
language = English
budget =
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 Staunton and Patrick Dempsey. 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 Long Beach, California. The title is a play on both the terms of "Freedom Riders", the black and white civil rights activists who tested the U.S. Supreme Court decision ordering the desegregation of 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 1992 and introduces Eva (April Lee Hernández), a Latina whose 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 Beach high 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 Gies over 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.


:"See also: 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 Peas member will.i.am. The soundtrack also includes the Tupac Shakur song "Keep Ya Head Up".

Instrumental sections of Sia's "Breathe Me" accompany the film's television trailer.


This film was given a final rating of PG-13 by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) for violent content, some thematic material, and language.


*Hilary Swank as Erin Gruwell
*Scott Glenn as Steve Gruwell
*Patrick Dempsey as Scott Casey
*Imelda Staunton as Margaret Campbell
*April Lee Hernández as Eva Benitez
*Mario as Andre Bryant
*Kristin Herrera as Gloria Munez
*Jaclyn Ngan as Sindy Ngor
*Sergio Montalvo as Alejandro Santiago
*Jason Finn as Marcus
*Deance Wyatt as Jamal Hill
*Vanetta Smith as Brandy Ross
*Gabriel Chavarria as Tito
*Hunter Parrish as Ben Daniels
*Antonio García as Miguel
*Giovonnie Samuels as Victoria
*John Benjamin Hickey as Brian Gelford
*Robert Wisdom as Dr. Carl Cohn
*Pat Carroll as Miep Gies
*Armand "Prozpect" Jones as Grant Rice


*A slight reference is made to the Showtime series "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 Gruwell for the ABC News program Primetime Live. Durning served as co-executive producer of the film.

*Vanetta Smith was also in the TV Series Endurance prior to this film.

*Swank and Dempsey perviously co-starred in the period piece Iron Jawed Angels.

ee also

* "One Eight Seven"
* "Dangerous Minds"
* "The Diary of Anne Frank"
* "Stand and Deliver"
* "Lean on Me"
* "The Principal"
* "Shackles
* "Weeds"
* "The Ron Clark Story"

External links

* [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 "Rotten Tomatoes"
* [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:

  • Freedom Writers — Título Diarios de la calle Escritores de la libertad Escritores de libertad Ficha técnica Dirección Richard LaGravenese Ayudante de dirección Donald Sparks …   Wikipedia Español

  • 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

  • Freedom Writers (film) — Écrire pour exister Écrire pour exister (Freedom Writers) est un film américain réalisé par Richard LaGravenese, sorti en 2007, basé sur le livre The Freedom Writers Diary: How a Teacher and 150 Teens Used Writing to Change Themselves and the… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Freedom Writers (soundtrack) — Infobox Album | Name = Freedom Writers Type = Film Score Artist = Various Artists Released = January 9, 2007 Recorded = 1992 2007 Genre = Hip hop Length = Label = Hollywood Records Producer = Reviews = * Allmusic Rating|3.5|5 [http://www.allmusic …   Wikipedia

  • Freedom Writers Foundation — The Freedom Writers Foundation is a charitable organization that promotes tolerance in the classroom and empowers teachers and underserved students, specifically economically disadvantaged and “at risk” youth nationwide. It was founded by Erin… …   Wikipedia

  • The Freedom Writers Diary — Infobox Book name = The Freedom Writers Diary title orig = translator = image caption = author = The Freedom Writers with Erin Gruwell illustrator = cover artist = country = United States language = English series = subject = Diary genre = Non… …   Wikipedia

  • Freedom (newspaper) — Infobox Newspaper name = type = Fortnightly newspaper format = A4 foundation = 1886 owners = Freedom Press political = Anarchist headquarters = 84b Whitechapel High Street, London editor = Rob Ray website = [http://www.freedompress.org.uk/… …   Wikipedia

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