Historical, Social and Political Issues in the Movie Freedom Writers

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Historical, Social and Political Issues in the movie FREEDOM WRITERS

The thorough presentation of a well researched context in the film provided the environment for priming the viewers on the concept of belonging which was highlighted in the film. This grounded the film and prepared the viewers on the film’s main focus. Through the brief but meaningful snippets of what happened during the trial of Rodney King, the viewers were introduced to the conflict used in the film that surfaced and distinctly placed attention on the concept of belonging.

In the film, the Freedom Writers were made following the Rodney King trial in 1992 and the OJ Simpson murder case in 1994. These trials brought out the sensitive issues about injustices experienced by people of different ethnic origin. The Rodney King trial provided the film’s background and was presented by showing footages of the 1992 Los Angeles riot. The riot that started April 29, 1992 was triggered by the public announcement over the decision to acquit the LAPD officers charged with beating Rodney King. The court decided to rule that the police officers were not guilty in relation to the police brutality experienced by Rodney King in March 3, 1991, due to the latter’s violation of the car speed regulation. During those times the color or race of a person was a significant consideration on how people related to one another; how they were perceived as members of the society; and how they were treated. The 1992 Los Angeles riot was a reaction to the bottled up hostilities among people due to the perceived inequality brought about by the differences in the color or race.

Freedom Writers had Long Beach California as its setting during the freshmen year in 1994 of students of mixed family and cultural backgrounds. The diversity was due to the School District’s program on Voluntary Integration. There were several groups in the film: Latinos, Cambodians, African Americans and Vietnamese. It was always the...
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