• Publication date: July 1, 2011

Classroom Redemption Freedom Writers: Teacher Takes Up Fight For Forgotten Kids

Freedom Writers is inspired by the true story about Erin Gruwell a white teacher who takes on a classroom full of black and latino students who are distrusting and angry at people from another race after the Los Angeles riots.

Freedom Writers is inspired by the true story about Erin Gruwell a white teacher who takes on a classroom full of black and latino students who are distrusting and angry at people from another race after the Los Angeles riots.

Hilary Swank is cast as Erin, the idealistic young teacher who is pretty, educated middle class and white. From the start, the cultural divide between her and her students is evident. But while the rest of the school�s faculty looks at the students as hopelessly unteachable, Erin resolves to not give up hope.

One day in class, Erin discovers a racist drawing that one of her students has made. She uses this as an opportunity to teach against the dangers of discrimination and the importance of tolerance. Erin then purchases journals for each of the students, and asks them to record the story of their own personal hardships.

Determined to see that all of her students have the proper materials to learn with, Erin takes on additional part-time jobs to pay for books and supplies. Her laudable actions, however, become a strain in her own household, as her husband, Scott (Patrick Dempsey), expresses his displeasure with her excessive dedication. Also difficult is the relationship with her father, Steve (Scott Glenn), who raises questions about her career choice.

To help the kids overcome the pain of their unfortunate circumstances, Erin teaches from books such as �The Diary of Anne Frank� (1947), and raises money to bring in the Holocaust survivor to speak with the class about her experience.

Gradually, Erin�s students come to realize the extent of her commitment, and they begin to treat her with respect. One student in particular, Marcus (Jason Finn), shows a great deal of progress and forms a closer bond with his teacher.

Despite the progress made, Erin�s unorthodox teaching methods are still met with skepticism from faculty members. Erin must fight to ensure that her kids continue to have the opportunity to learn in an environment where they receive the respect and understanding they deserve.

�Freedom Writers� did modestly well at the box office, grossing $36 million in the United States. While the subject matter may be familiar to moviegoers who are acquainted with such films as �Dangerous Minds� (1995) and �Stand and Deliver� (1988), most critics seem to agree that the movie has its own unique and powerful story to tell.

�Freedom Writers� is rated PG-13 for violent content, some thematic material and language.

Year: 2007

Duration: 123 mins

Genre: Biography/ Drama

Starring:

Hilary Swank

Patrick Dempsey

Scott Glenn

Mario

April L. Hernandez

Directed by: Richard LaGravenese