Freedom Writers

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Freedom Writers is a 2007 American drama film starring Academy Award winner Hilary Swank, Scott Glenn, Imelda Staunton and Patrick Dempsey. It is based on the book The Freedom Writers Diary by teacher Erin Gruwell who wrote the story based on Woodrow Wilson Classical High School in Long Beach, California. The title is a play on the term "Freedom Riders", referring to the multiracial civil rights activists who tested the U.S. Supreme Court decision ordering the desegregation of interstate buses in 1961. The idea for the film came from journalist Tracey Durning, who made a documentary about Erin Gruwell for the ABC News program Primetime Live. Durning served as co-executive producer of the film. The film was a box office success and was positively received by critics. The main events depicted take place between 1994–1996, beginning with scenes from the 1992 Los Angeles riots. Swank plays the role of Erin Gruwell, a new, excited school teacher who leaves the safety of her hometown, Newport Beach, to teach at Woodrow Wilson High School in Long Beach, a formerly high achieving school which has recently put an integration plan in place. Her enthusiasm is rapidly challenged when she realizes that her class are all "at-risk" high school students, also known as "unteachables", and not the eager-for-college students she was expecting. The high school students assimilate into racial groups in the classroom, fights break out, and eventually most of the high school students stop attending class. Not only does Gruwell meet opposition from her high school students, but she also has a difficult time with her department head, who refuses to let her teach her high school students with books in case they get damaged and lost, and instead tells her to focus on training them discipline and obedience. One night, two high school students, Eva (April Lee Hernández), a Mexican American girl and narrator for much of the film, and a Cambodian refugee, Sindy (Jaclyn Ngan), frequent the same...
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