January 5, 2007
Studio: Paramount Pictures
Director: Richard LaGravenese
MPAA Rating: PG-13 (for violent content, some thematic material and language)
Screenwriter: Richard LaGravenese
Starring: Hilary Swank, Imelda Staunton, Patrick Dempsey, Scott Glenn, Mario
"Freedom Writers" is inspired by a true story and the diaries of real Long Beach teenagers after the LA riots, during the worst outbreak of interracial gang warfare. Two-time Academy Award® winner Hilary Swank stars as Erin Gruwell, whose passion to become a teacher is soon challenged by a group of Black, Latino, and Asian gangbangers who hate her even more than each other. When Erin begins to listen to them in a way no adult has ever done, she begins to understand that for these kids, getting through the day alive is enough -- they are not delinquents but teenagers fighting "a war of the streets" that began long before they were born. Erin gives them something they never had from a teacher before -- respect. For the first time, these teens experience a hope that maybe, they might show the world that their lives matter and they have something to say.