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
At the hotel dinner for the kids, after their trip to the Holocaust museum, all of the Holocaust survivor characters are played by actual Holocaust survivors. See more »
When Ms. G is talking about writing Miep Gies instead of writing a report about the diary of Anne Frank, the information on the chalkboard changes 2 or 3 times. See more »
[while playing the Line Game, in which Erin makes the class reveal that they have more in common than they care to admit]
Who has been to jail or a juvenile hall?
Does a refugee camp count?
[Sindy stands on the line]
See more »