Tonight, Nuala and I watched this incredible “feel good” film. Not sure what I was going into, as all Nuala described it as was “a teacher in a very gang based school where everyone’s fighting each other”, I didn’t expect to love it as much as I did. 15/10. Without a doubt, best movie I have seen in ages.
Based on a book called The Freedom Writers, the film followed new teacher Erin Gruwell (Hilary Swank) as she tried to teach English to a class of 13/14 year olds – many of them with the reading level of a 5 year old. The film follows her initial struggles to gain their respect and shows you how a simple teacher reaching out to her pupils can seriously affect their willingness to learn.
It was well acted by all the actors and actresses, with many now familiar faces, well it was made in 2007 (still can’t believe that’s 9 years ago!). The soundtrack fits perfect while helping set the tone. Going to have to look it up too. I’ve now ordered the book and it will arrive on Sunday apparently. That’s my Easter reading sorted! (Update – having now read it several times, you can read my review of the Freedom Writers Diary book here)
What I personally loved about this entire film was the message that if teachers actually care about their students, the students are more likely to progress and succeed. Many of the students have their problems at home as much as the problems in society as a whole. Their lessons learnt in the classroom transferred into everyday life – no longer were they left feeling that their education was useless and that no one cares for them.
All I ask is that you please please please give it a try. Blame me if you hate it. But definitely consider it.