Freedom Writers is a drama based on the book “The freedom writers’ diary” by Erin Gruwell and her students at the Woodrow Wilson Classical High School in California. The book is an agglomeration of the writings of these students, inspired by their teacher, to write about the experiences they had to undergo due to the racial tensions and violence existing in the society. The movie is an enrapturing representation of the way in which a teacher revolutionizes the process of classroom teaching to bring about integration among students divided in terms of colour and race. The movie also emphasizes the importance of social capital and associational or inter-communal form of civic engagement for harmony and development. The plot
The storyline of the movie takes place in the early 1990’s, about two years after the Los Angeles riots which occurred on grounds of racial discrimination. To promote unity and brotherhood, an integration program that puts students from varied races and backgrounds together, was started by the government at the Woodrow Wilson Classical High School. Erin Gruwell, played by Hilary Swank, was entrusted the role of teaching such a class. It didn’t take long for her enthusiasm to vanish when she witnessed the racial tensions and hatreds existing among the students. The class was fragmented in terms of race. The young students were engaged in racially motivated antisocial activities. There was no respect for the school authority and the attendance went thin day by day. After an imbroglio perpetrated by her students, the school authority was also critical of Erin, citing this as her failure to teach her students even to be disciplined. Erin takes all these challenges head on. She starts teaching her students about the ill effects of racial discriminations and how it can lead to horrendous consequences such as the Holocaust. She goes out of her way to teach them through some games, biographies and by arranging meetings with...
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