The Freedom Writers Diary

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The Freedom Writers Essay- Chloe Taylor

How are different cultures represented in Freedom Writers? What values and attitudes do we draw from the film and its background?

Cultures are shown and exposed to us in various ways everyday. Different cultures are represented in different ways in the Western Society. In the movie Freedom Writers, we witness this cultural conflict on a first hand basis. Urban youths in Freedom Writers heavily rely on respect to judge others. They also judge based on each other’s cultural back ground. Later in the film, these same teenagers begin to value education and the sense of belonging in school, rather than belonging in gangs.

Gangs and groups are a part of the Western Society that we have had to learn to accept in our lives. In the feature film Freedom Writers, we are shown gangs divided up into cultures and cultural backgrounds. This has built up a lot of tension between cultures and attitudes towards other gangs. The scene in which all the students enter room 203 and take seats into their separate corners of the room divided into their certain corners of the room shows the division between students in a real life. We see a long shot of the whole classroom showing its layout and the segregation between gangs. Then multiple mid-shots are shown of the gang itself and its individual members to decipher the multiple gangs, their attitudes towards school and their way of life. Even though the students start their school year with an attitude of ignorance towards other cultures they begin to learn the value of each individual and change their point of view and their gangs and cooperate with their cultures.

People may argue that respect is something that has to be earned, it is not automatic. In the 1992 Los Angeles’s race riots, respect was something that was taken for granted, as it was essential for their society. In Freedom Writers, Ms Gruwell demanded respect immediately. Not surprisingly the students refused to give...
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