Friday Film: “Freedom Writers”

Today we will discuss a film that is a little bit different from the ones I have been reviewing so far since most of them – as you might have already noticed – are thriller movies. If you liked the “Dead Poets Society” film, this one is a must-watch for you.

Freedom Writers” is the 2007 drama movie, which will capture your interest immediately and end up leaving you with a sweet taste and hopes of a better future. The film is based on Erin Grunwell’s book “The Freedom Writers Diary.” Erin Gruwell was teaching at Woodrow Wilson Classical High School, and the film is depicting what happened there, her struggle with the students and how all these resulted in an incredible book. Director Richard LaGravenese has created many other films – one of them also starring Hilary Swank – but this is by far my favorite one among his works. Other movies he is responsible for are “P.S. I Love You,” “The Last Five Years,” and “Beautiful Creatures.”

We are in Long Beach, California in 1994. Erin Gruwell (Hilary Swank,  “The Black Dahlia,” “Million Dollar Baby,” “Insomnia”) starts working voluntarily as a teacher at Woodrow Wilson High School. The students there come from different nationalities, and they all hate each other because this is what they were taught to do. They do not care about learning, and they hate Gruwell more than they hate each other. How is Erin going to make these students care about education and stop getting driven by their hatred towards each other?

I rarely watch drama movies but this is one of those films that got me loving the genre, and I am still looking for at least something similar to that. It does not involve a silly love story you would watch to pass your time or a tragic family story. Despite being already something that happened in real life, it also addresses a critical issue that still exists in our society. A lot of children and even grown-ups struggle to become a part of a community that continually deprives them of their human rights. These people learn to live like that, and the children grow up like this, thinking that fear and hatred are the only feelings they will keep them going.

Regardless, the real story behind this film would not have been transferred into this breathtaking movie if it were not for the unique talent of the main protagonists. It is not only Hilary Swank’s performance what makes it this good. It is also the student’s performances and the way the entire cast is interacting with each other. You know this must be based on a real story because it feels real. Each character is interesting and unique in its own way. And the development of each one is moving step-by-step until the audience can see the outcome of Gruwell’s efforts.

Freedom Writers” is the breathtaking, emotional, and beautiful film you should definitely watch this weekend with friends or alone. Have fun!

I will be back next Friday with another one of my favorite movies that you must watch.

Until then, leave your comments below and let us know what your thoughts on this movie are and if you enjoyed watching it.


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