This is the true story of Erin Gruwell, who as a young teacher went to work at a school in a deprived area of Los Angeles. Due to her lack of teaching experience and her privileged background she initially had great difficulty understanding her pupils, who were confronted with drugs and violence on a daily basis. Thanks to her perseverance and creativity, Erin Gruwell managed to build up a special bond with them. She gave each one of them a notebook in which they could write down their daily thoughts. All those journals were combined and published as a book called ‘Freedom Writers’. The title is a play on the term Freedom Riders, a multiracial movement of civil rights activists who travelled through the southern United States in buses in 1961. By riding these interstate buses they demonstrated against the racial segregation that was still often in force on public transport. Martin Luther King supported the Freedom Riders, who were regularly harrassed by white policemen or by members of the Ku Klux Klan. There are no direct references to Martin Luther King in the film Freedom Writers, but the story perfectly fits into his dream of a better world with more tolerance and mutual respect. This dream is expressed explicitly in the title song of the film, ‘A Dream’ by American rappers Common and Will.i.am.
For the trailer, click here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JhXMJlm852A
Freedom Writers (2007)
Director: Richard Lagravenese
Available on DVD/Blu-ray