The movie “Freedom Writers” is based on a true story. Hilary Swank as Erin Gruwell plays an inspirational teacher at Wilson High School. She is ready to take on the teaching world as she steps inside Wilson High School for her first day. Her class, varied with teenagers of different ethnic backgrounds, wants nothing more than to just get through the day. African Americans, Latinos, Asians, gang members, and much more are from poor neighborhoods, that all share a similar hatred for each other.
On the first day of teaching she is very scared and unsure, but she knows she has to stop the racism in the class as well as their attitude towards life. Despite her students’ persistent refusal to participate during class, Erin tries various ways to communicate with them on a daily basis. The main situation of the movie is the gang violence and racial issues in Long Beach. This situation is shown within the classroom.
Ghetto reality really steps in to focus, which is the main picture. Scenes from the movie such as: a racial gang shooting witnessed by a Ava (Latina gang member) in Erin’s class, and an ugly racial cartoon that Erin discovers during class, becomes the teaching method to bring this kids together. They trigger a change in the classroom, and are all compelled to tell and listen to each others’ survival stories of the war they face on the streets. Erin begins to connect with them.
She brings in music from the ghetto, and literature from another kind of ghetto, The Diary of Anne Frank, and with these ideas she opens her students’ eyes to the experiences of those suffering throughout the world and the struggles of the people outside their communities. After knowing that every one of her students has a story to tell, Erin encourages her students to keep a daily journal of their thoughts and experiences. After sharing their stories.
These diaries transform become an important aspect to the students’ education and Gruwell’s commitment to them grows on her and affects her in ways she did not think of. The purpose of the movie is to overcome racial differences, to help gain rights, equality, and respect. The school district feels these students are unable to use the books because the teachers think the students will destroy them. This brings up one of many claims, which happens to be that education is falling the students.
The school pays very little attention to these students, and this is one of the reasons why they drop out and don’t graduate. The students’ know that no one cares about their education so they don’t try to do well in school. If the system were to appreciate the kids, they would have a different view on learning how to gain education. Another claim would be, hardships at home are affecting the lifestyle of these students. Some of these students aren’t appreciated by their family members, and face horrible tragedies, which causes violence within each student.
To help inspire the students more, Erin gave them an educational trip about the Holocaust War that the students don’t have any idea about. But after giving so much effort and time to her students, her husband eventually gave up on their relationship. They divorced, but that didn’t stop Erin to continually support her students, which is that time, treated by her as a family. The students’ started gaining respect for Erin. The students’ started to come together and tried to start life new, and make changes within their lifestyle.
The audience of this movie has a very wide range. However, I think majority of the viewers should been teenagers having to do with different racial backgrounds. Also, the education system should be one of the main viewer’s of this movie. This movie is an inspiration to kids who are facing similar difficulties’ that are faced in this movie. It shows that anyone can turn their lives around, but you have to want to do it, you can’t force anyone to make a change for you. Erin was the students’ support system and was there to motivate these kids to make a change.