7.5/10
55,101
235 user 84 critic

Freedom Writers (2007)

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

Writers:

(screenplay), (book) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Popularity
2,643 ( 26)

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2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

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

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

Taglines:

their story their words See more »

Genres:

Biography | Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

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Release Date:

5 January 2007 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Écrire pour exister  »

Box Office

Budget:

$21,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

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

Gross:

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

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Technical Specs

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Sound Mix:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The woman who portrays Miep Gies in the film, Pat Carroll, also voiced Ursala in The Little Mermaid (1989) See more »

Goofs

Not only do the same newspaper headlines recur throughout the movie, the article is the same: nutrition and the obesity rate. See more »

Quotes

Erin Gruwell: Your bags are packed and you think the wine will give me a headache?
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Connections

References Cleopatra Jones (1973) See more »

Soundtracks

A Dream
by Common (as Lonnie Lynn), Will.i.am (as will.i.am) & Martin Luther King (as Martin Luther King,
Jr.)
Performed by Common featuring Will.i.am (as will.i.am)
Produced by Will.i.am (as will.i.am)
Common performs courtesy of G.O.O.D. Music / Geffin Records
will.i.am performs courtesy of Interscope Records
License for Martin Luther King, Jr. excerpts granted by Intellectual Properties Management,
Atlanta, Georgia, as Exclusive Licensor of the King Estate
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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.


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