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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.

Writers:

Richard LaGravenese (screenplay), Freedom Writers (book) | 1 more credit »
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Popularity
3,943 ( 149)
2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Hilary Swank ... Erin Gruwell
Patrick Dempsey ... Scott Casey
Scott Glenn ... Steve Gruwell
Imelda Staunton ... Margaret Campbell
April L. Hernandez ... Eva Benitez (as April Lee Hernandez)
Mario ... Andre Bryant
Kristin Herrera ... Gloria Munez
Jaclyn Ngan ... Sindy
Sergio Montalvo Sergio Montalvo ... Alejandro Santiago
Jason Finn Jason Finn ... Marcus
Deance Wyatt ... Jamal Hill
Vanetta Smith ... Brandy Ross
Gabriel Chavarria ... Tito
Hunter Parrish ... Ben Daniels
Antonio García Antonio García ... Miguel
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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:

our story. our 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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Germany | USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

5 January 2007 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Écrire pour exister See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$21,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$9,405,582, 7 January 2007

Gross USA:

$36,605,602

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$43,090,741
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | SDDS | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jamal (Deance Wyatt) is seen wearing a "Poly" jersey. Long Beach Polytechnic High School is Long Beach Wilson's biggest rival. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Eva: I don't even know how this war started. It's just two sides that tripped each other way back. Who cares about the history behind it? I am my father's daughter, and when they call me to testify, I will protect my own, no matter what.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Cougar Town: Southern Accents (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

Officer
by J. Swift (as John Martinez), Romye Robinson, Tré Hardson (as Trevant Jermaine Hardson),
Fatlip (as Derrick Stewart) & Imani Wilcox (as Emandu Imani Rashaan Wilcox)
Performed by The Pharcyde
Courtesy of Delicious Vinyl
See more »

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User Reviews

Sometimes the Pen Does Defeat the Sword.
12 March 2007 | by tfrizzellSee all my reviews

True story about a young teacher (Hilary Swank) who comes to a rough part of inner-city Los Angeles in the mid-1990s and inspires her high school students through expression via personal writings. A wide range of ethnic and cultural divisions provide difficulties aplenty with gang activity and general mischief being the orders of the day and it is up to Swank to pull through the layers of grief, anger and despair to help her students not only succeed in the classroom, but also in life. Inspirational and a bit cheesy at the same time, "Freedom Writers" still uses a proved formula to work well for the most part. Swank is dominant (as she always seems to be) and she gets ample support from good young performers, a smart screenplay and adequate direction. 4 stars out of 5.


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