It's 1994 in Long Beach, California. Idealistic Erin Gruwell is just starting her first teaching job, that as freshman and sophomore English teacher at Woodrow Wilson High School, which, two years earlier, implemented a voluntary integration program. For many of the existing teachers, the integration has ruined the school, whose previously stellar academic standing has been replaced with many students who will be lucky to graduate or even be literate. Despite choosing the school on purpose because of its integration program, Erin is unprepared for the nature of her classroom, whose students live by generations of strict moral codes of protecting their own at all cost. Many are in gangs and almost all know somebody that has been killed by gang violence. The Latinos hate the Cambodians who hate the blacks and so on. The only person the students hate more is Ms. Gruwell. It isn't until Erin holds an unsanctioned discussion about a recent drive-by shooting death that she fully begins to ... Written by
I read the message boards before seeing the movie and wasn't really that excited to go see it. Yes, the general storyline has been done before...
I'm a male teenager and this movie made me cry. I can't remember the last time a movie made me cry... in fact, I don't think I have (teary-eyed doesn't count). Freedom Writers moved me.
It was so much better than I expected. All I can say is that it is definitely worth at least a matinée viewing.
The movie reminded me that all of America isn't like white middle-class suburbia, of which I am a part. Regardless of how many times the same movie has been done before, the white middle-class can use as many reminders as possible that education is not that easy to obtain everywhere. Even in America, opportunity is not equal, and I think it's important for people to see that.
Don't judge the movie without seeing it.
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