12.30.2006

Freedom Writers

I don't plug too many movie recommendations on my blog, so you know this one is special. It's actually about the school district where I teach: Long Beach Unified. Set just after the 1993 LA riots, Freedom Writers takes place at Wilson High School. The local paper ran an article about two months ago about students' reactions to the YouTube previews. I agreed with them that the racial tensions at school are almost unrecognizeable to how they are portrayed in the movie. So when you go and see it, remember that it's a period piece: things are a lot better these days!

I'm in the middle of reading the book that the teacher, Erin Gruwell, edited from her students' writings: The Freedom Writers Diary. The raw descriptions of after-school life and the lengths that their teacher will go to connect them with individuals who have moved beyond hate to tolerance is awe-some. Gruwell doesn't mention it in the book, but her work resonates with Paulo Freire's Pedagogy of the Oppressed: giving literacy and voice to the voiceless. I'm still in Chicago until Jan 8. The movie debuts Jan 5. I wonder what the buzz will be like in LB? If you're at all interested in where I work, the plight of urban education today, or looking for a teacher inspiration movie, please go see this film!

1 comment:

Dana said...

I saw it and thought it was incredible.

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