Movie Reviews: Freedom Writers




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     Paramount 2 hr. 3 mins
     A dedicated teacher finds a way to unify her disadvantaged, racially divided students through writing.
     Hilary Swank, Patrick Dempsey, Scott Glenn, April L. Hernandez, Mario, Kristin Herrera
Bottom Line:

Laurence Washington

Hilary Swank stars as Erin Gruwell, a dedicated rookie teacher who volunteers to begin her tenure at a tough and violent Long Beach, Calif. High school that’s racially divided by its students and burned out teachers.

Freedom Writers is an inspired film that admittedly, like all films in this genre, relies heavily on a four-step plot.

(a.) A young idealistic and naive teacher goes to tough urban school.

(b.) Students hate her/him because they think the teacher can’t identify with their lives. The school administration hates her/him because said teacher is idealistic.

(c.) There is a tipping point where the teacher reaches the students, and even the most disruptive students want to learn. The school administration still hates her/him because the teacher’s unorthodox methods actually work.

(d.) Despite all odds, the troubled students graduate, go on to college or other successful lives outside the ghetto.

However, Freedom Writers is a true story, so the scriptwriters can’t be held libel for the formula plot. Freedom Writers premise opens right after the Rodney King riots and tension are high between blacks, whites, Hispanic as Asian teens. In fact, Gruwell’s classroom is a powder keg just waiting to explode after several violent eruptions in class.

Using gangs as a common denominator that her students can identify with, Gruwell introduces her class to the toughest gang in the world – the Nazi party by assigning the class to read Anne Frank's diary. Through Anne Frank’s writing, the students learn that there are others in the world to be surrounded by random violence and tragic loss.

Gruwell suggest that her student begin to discover the healing power of telling their own stories, so she gives everyone in the class a journal to record their thoughts everyday. The diaries yield plenty of powerful moments as the class who were written off by the school administration, as misfits become a strong and united family.

Freedom Writers Special DVD Giveaway!

This special DVD has two Live performances recorded in the
MTV Studios by Common & Will.Iam and Jeanie Ortega

Common & Will.IAm perform: "A Dream"
Jeanie Ortega performs: "It's R Time"

Drawing will be held on January 22, 2006.

Email your postal address so we can send the DVD if you are a winner!

CLICK HERE to Email Your Entry!



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