The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

Book-to-film “Freedom Writers’ an inspirational hit

“Freedom Writers” proves to be an amazing film. Wonderful acting performances all around bring the story to life. A cast of stars including Hilary Swank, Patrick Dempsey, Scott Glenn, and many previously unknown actors, reenact the story of students rising above gang violence and oppression. Swank delivers a touching performance as Erin Gruwell, an excited and na’ve first-time teacher in Los Angeles. At first, Gruwell is shocked by her students’ violent, unmotivated, and disrespectful attitudes. Eventually, she learns why the students behave as they do.

Gruwell learns that each of her students has lost at least one friend or family member to gang violence, that most have been shot at, and that no one has ever invested in their education. Gruwell, the first teacher ever to see these students’ potential, becomes determined to understand, educate, and reach her students. She is resolute to evoke change in classroom 203.

Viewers who think that “Freedom Writers” seems like a far-fetched or formula-driven tale should think again. The film is closely based on the book “Freedom Writers Diary,” a collection of genuine student writing assigned and gathered by real life teacher Gruwell.

Gruwell gives her students a diary to write in every day. She says she will not grade the writing, or even read it, unless it is turned into a locked cabinet in the classroom. Gruwell is happily surprised to see that many of the students turn the notebooks in.

These diaries are narrated in the film. Earnestly, the students tell their touching and brutal stories. When the students share their stories with Gruwell and with each other, the hostile environment in 203 begins to shift.

Facing opposition from the school administration, her fellow teachers, and even her husband (Patrick Dempsey), Gruwell exhausts herself doing everything necessary to make an impact on her students and to foster cross-racial respect in the classroom.

“Freedom Writers” tells stories of intense violence and subsequent tragedy. Yet, it seems impossible to leave the theater at the end of the movie without feeling uplifted, hopeful, and wonderfully inspired.

Because this story is authentic as well as beautifully acted and filmed, “Freedom Writers” may leave viewers with teary eyes, a renewed appreciation for education, and an invigorated dedication to the things that truly matter.

The movie is currently playing at the Brassfield Cinema 10, the Carmike, and the Grande.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

The Guilfordian intends for this area to be used to foster healthy, thought-provoking discussion. Comments are expected to adhere to our standards and to be respectful and constructive. As such, we do not permit the use of profanity, foul language, personal attacks, or the use of language that might be interpreted as libelous. Comments are reviewed and must be approved by a moderator to ensure that they meet these standards. The Guilfordian does not allow anonymous comments, and requires a valid email address. The email address will not be displayed but will be used to confirm your comments.
All The Guilfordian Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *