A working mother puts herself through law school in an effort to represent her brother, who has been wrongfully convicted of murder and has exhausted his chances to appeal his conviction through public defenders.
Police officer Dirk Hendricks (Bartlett) files an amnesty application for Alex Mpondo (Ejiofor), a member of the South African Parliament who can't remember the torture he once endured as a captive political activist. South African-born attorney Sarah Barcant (Swank), meanwhile, returns to her homeland to represent Mpondo, as well as Steve Sizela, Mpondo's friend who arrested along with him and ... See full summary »
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
The Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles is featured in the film. Gruwell takes the students on a field trip to the museum. An exterior view of the museum is shown, and there are scenes inside the museum, showing simulated entrances to gas chambers in death camps. See more »
In one scene set near the beach, a Toyota Sienna is seen in a parking lot in the background. The movie is set from 1994-1996, and the Toyota Sienna did not debut until the 1998 model year. See more »
But to get respect you have to give it.
Why should I give you my respect to you? Because you're a teacher? I don't know you. How do I know you're not a liar standing up there. How do I know you're not a bad person standing up there? I'm not just gonna give you my respect because you're called a teacher.
White people wanting their respect like its for free.
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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 »
I just arrived home after having seen a screening of this film. It's very strong and moves well. It is very emotional, but is balanced well with humor. Even better it's true to life humor, things that would actually happen. you are drawn into the "family" that is the class and you are led to see the changes taking place in people, instead of having it shoved in your face like your too basic to understand.
I would also like to note the music. It was wonderful and did what music is meant to for movies, setting the moods the score was present in the background but not overwhelming (as in so many other movies lately) the music didn't overshadow the story that was unfolding in any way.
Overall a very good movie that I will be happy to see again, and even happy to pay full ticket price (which is saying something!). Great job and thank you to all who worked on this movie, in my eyes it's a winner. ^_^
"My badness" *chuckle*
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