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Freedom Writers (2007)

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A young teacher inspires her class of at-risk students to learn tolerance, apply themselves, and pursue education beyond high school.


(screenplay), (book) | 1 more credit »
2,633 ( 210)
2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Eva Benitez (as April Lee Hernandez)
Jaclyn Ngan ...
Sergio Montalvo ...
Jason Finn ...
Ben Daniels
Antonio García ...


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 Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


their story their words See more »


Biography | Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for violent content, some thematic material and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

5 January 2007 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Écrire pour exister  »

Box Office


$21,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$9,405,582 (USA) (5 January 2007)


$36,581,633 (USA) (9 March 2007)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Hilary Swank beat out her co-star in this movie, Imelda Staunton, for the 2005 Oscar for Best Actress. See more »


At the beginning of the movie when Mrs. G is new to the school, in the office, she picks up her coffee cup and puts it down, then in the next shot you can see her putting the coffee cup down again. See more »


Marcus: That Miep Gies lady, the one that help hide her, I like her. I got all these other books about her from the library.
Erin Gruwell: Wow, you used your library card?
Marcus: Nah...
See more »


References The Simpsons (1989) See more »


by Darrius Garrett, Kashaun Johnson, Intan Y. Sebastian, Lou "Buster" Brown and Teak & Dee Underdue
Performed by Darrius "Mista Sniper" Garrett
Produced by Lou "Buster" Brown
Additional Production by Teak & Dee Underdue
See more »

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User Reviews

Great Film
24 October 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I went to a special screening last night. I was hugely impressed. I actually cried, a rarity for me. It was moving and poignant. I will watch it again and again.

I won't spoil it for anyone, but I think the ideas about education expressed are universal, regardless of the race of either the teacher or the students.

I was also impressed by the soundtrack and cinematography, and how they incorporated the diaries into the story.

As usual, Hillary Swank puts in a good performance.

I have not read the book, so I don't know how it compares, but I am looking into purchasing a copy.

109 of 163 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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A movie identical to this one guttapimp
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