My unofficial story:
I don’t know how many times I’ve seen Freedom Writers. It’s one of those films that stirs and breaks the heart at the same time. The story is about a young teacher who learns as much from her students as they learn from her. It starts with fear and racial hatred in the classroom and ends with change and acceptance by sharing personal stories and reaching out to a world far away and over fifty years in the past, to the story of Anne Frank.
Hillary Swank portrays a brand-new teacher, Erin Gruwell, out of her element, but determined to make a difference.
“It’s 1994 in Long Beach, California. Idealist Erin Gruwell has just started her first teaching job, as a first- and second-grade English teacher at Woodrow Wilson High School, which two years earlier had set up an English program. voluntary integration. For many current teachers, integration has ruined the school, whose previously excellent academic performance has been exhausted by many students who will be lucky enough to graduate or even become literate. despite the express choice of the school because of its integration program,
Erin is unprepared for the nature of her class, whose students live by generations of strict moral codes of protecting their own at all costs. Many are in gangs and almost all know someone who has been killed by gang violence. Latinos hate Cambodians who hate black people and so on. The one person the students hate the most is Mrs. Gruwell.
It’s not until Erin holds an unauthorized discussion about a recent shooting death while driving that she fully begins to understand what she’s up against. And it’s not until she asks him to write a daily journal – which she won’t grade or read unless he chooses – that the students begin to open up to her. As Erin struggles ever harder to secure the unprovided resources to teach properly (often having to pay for them herself by taking on second and third jobs), she seems to face a greatest resistance, especially from his colleagues, such as Margaret Campbell, his section chief, who lives by the rules and considers these resources a waste, and Brian Gelford, who will protect his “privileged” position at all costs to teach the upper classes with distinction. Erin also finds that her job as a teacher is straining her marriage to Scott Casey, a man who seems to have lost his own idealistic path in life. —Hugo
Young teacher Erin Gruwell (played by Hillary Swank) reached out to her students.
Official trailer – imdb.com/video/vi463798553
One of my favorite scenes features Jason Finn as Marcus, meeting his mother on her way home from the grocery store and asking if he could go home. It’s a simple scene of acceptance and love between a mother and her son.
Interview: Jason Finn & April Hernandez Generic Junket, two real people who have acted and experienced the shifts in thinking and understanding. – imdb.com/video/vi2326266137
Young teacher Erin Gruwell reached out to her students. She learned from them and they learned from her. It’s fair trade.
A speaker, Hermine “Miep” Gies, was one of the Dutch citizens who defied the German Nazis of World War II and hid Anne Frank, her family and four other Dutch Jews in a warehouse attic.
Freedom Writers Quote #1:
Miep Gies: “But even an ordinary secretary, a housewife or a teenager can, in her own way, turn on a small light in a dark room.”
Quote #2 from the freedom writers:
Marcus: “I’ve never had a hero before. But you are my hero.
Miep Gies: “Oh, no. No, no, no, young man, no. I am not a hero. No. I did what I had to do, because it was the right thing to do. That’s all.”
User Review: #296
FOR AN OVERVIEW
“You won’t be disappointed! Great movie! Just saw an early screening and was amazed. I went there not really knowing what the movie was about, but I was expecting a knock-off “Dangerous Minds”, but I was surprised how much I really liked it. It’s not like an award-winning movie; however, it’s definitely worth checking out. And, without fear of losing my masculinity , i can honestly say there were two, maybe three scenes i had to bite my lip and try not to tear up… if you can watch this movie and not get your eyes watery at least once there is something wrong there was actually some scenes where the theater was packed and clapping and clapping, and other times where everyone was gasping at the same time…this will keep you entertained and you will walk away glad you came to see him.
Just as people enjoyed the film Freedom Writers, the efforts of the students, and the words of Anne Frank, we are fortunate to share those feelings and dreams in 2022. Lakewood Playhouse continues its 83rd season main stage with The Diary of Anne Frank, in a recent adaptation based on the original play. In this transcendentally powerful new adaptation by Wendy Kesselman, Anne Frank emerges from the story as a lively, lyrical and intensely gifted young girl who confronts her rapidly changing life and the growing horror of her time with an honesty, amazing spirit and determination. A passionate drama about the lives of eight people hiding from the Nazis in a concealed storage attic, The Diary of Anne Frank captures the claustrophobic realities of their daily existence – their fears, their hopes, their laughter, their grief. It’s a new story for a new generation.
(Peg) The first time I saw an Anne Frank production, my family was living outside of Bitburg AFB, Germany, where my father, and therefore my family, was relocated. I was a junior in high school on the base. When the play premiered, we had been there for about five months. The main actress was Linda, a Jewish girl, short, with black hair and eyes and passion in her heart. His commitment to this production was palpable. Every word she spoke had an absolute conviction of the truth. It had a profound impact on me because of his involvement in this story of humans deciding to eradicate an entire people from the earth. Linda is still one of my heroes to this day.
Just as “The Diary of Anne Frank” captured the claustrophobic realities of everyday existence with the fears, hopes, laughter and heartbreak of the real Erin Grewell and her students, we have a chance to share and to understand.
LAKEWOOD PLAYHOUSE PERFORMANCE SCHEDULE:
Fridays 15, 22, 29 April and 6 May at 8 p.m.;
Saturday 16, 23, 30 April and 7 May at 8 p.m.;
Sundays April 17, 24, May 1 and 8 at 2 p.m.
For more information and tickets, please visit – lakewoodplayhouse.org/
“When I write, I will get rid of all my worries. But I want to accomplish more than that. I want to be useful and bring pleasure to everyone, even those I have never met. I want to continue to live even after my death! -Anne Frank