Movie Madness Mondays – Freedom Writers

In my opinion, Freedom Writers is a remarkable true story about a teacher, Erin Gruwell, played by Hilary Swank that makes a difference in a group of violent gang invested kids. If you haven’t seen it yet, I highly recommend it!

Everyday is like living in a war zone for these kids, they divide themselves into tribes and try to survive one day at a time. Why are they fighting? They say they are fighting for race, pride and respect.

An unsuspecting teacher comes into their lives and encourages them to see the value in themselves and each other. She inspires them to stop, take a look at their lives and make a change. Together they begin to build themselves and create value in the world by sharing their stories.

I think before any shift amongst people can happen, first there needs to be understanding and compassion. How far would have Erin been able to go with this kids without first trying to understand, where they have been and where they are at now? Sure she could of run them through the conveyer belt of the educational system, but purpose what that have served?

It’s interesting to me how these shifts happen and how we can all participate in our own lives to make a difference.

I had someone ask me recently, is there a collective mission that ALL people around the world can live by no matter what your race, religion, and status? What do you think that would be? They asked me to imagine a world where I could still live by my beliefs and include a higher collective belief that would move all people forward?

I want to ask you all of you the same question.

In my opinion this story is incredibly inspirational; one of my favorite quotes comes to mind “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.” – Margaret Mead.

Xo Kendra

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10 Responses to “Movie Madness Mondays – Freedom Writers”

  1. Krissy Says:

    I did not see the movie, but I just wanted to correct you. Maya Angelou did not say that quote, but Margaret Mead did. Thanks!

  2. maha Says:

    i really love this movie
    the story is very interesting

  3. Ashley Says:

    It was very inspirational to actually see things through others eyes. Through this movie, the way the kids felt about race and religion showed through their writing. It really inspires me to do the same thing. To go outside my box, talk to more ethnical groups and learn more about their culture and how things are done in their country.

    As I watched this mourning an idea popped into my head and I’m gonna propose it and Kristin and Kendra and Tabby can put the final word on it, but I was thinking that since we are all really hip chicks that we should in a way share our life storys keeping them in a journal or binder or whatever floats your boat, and one a month pick one great great one to be post and shared with the rest of us girls here. It’s something new, something exciting and something that interested. I just wanted to see if it interest anybody else, but like I said Kristin, Kendra and Tabby will like decide the finally decision. But I think we should really do it, it’ll be fun.

  4. O.T Says:

    Okay so I totally have this movie, haha. I love it! It really explores at of stuff and makes you see things in a whole new light. Which I always love. It’s awesome to know it’s a true story too. This story proves that we can love and be-friend one another no matter what our race maybe.

  5. skahahoo Says:

    Dontcha just love these types of movies? The one for my generation was “Dangerous Minds”…with that theme song by Coolio…”As I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I take a look at my life and realize there’s not much left…” Funny, the things that stick in your head. Or my head. lol. Does anyone remember Coolio? With his braids sticking out every which way? Whatever happened to him? Anyway, I think the movie for the generation before me was “Stand by Me,” which I also really like. I liked all of them. Teachers in the States really don’t get the respect or the support they deserve. With great teachers, amazing things happen.

    As for the collective mission that transcends all boundaries…I’m reminded of a Native American proverb that goes something like, “We do not inherit the earth from our parents, but borrow it from our children.” I think extending that to include not just the physical earth, but also the institutions we’ve set up…I think it’s our responsibility to leave this world a better place for those who come after us, to provide an environment in which they can be the best they can be.

    And I say “Woot woot!” to Ashley’s idea. Yeah Ashley! 😀

  6. LI Says:

    I’ve just seen the trailer.
    This movie i’m going to see. Thank you
    I have a feeling that every person in this world need to see it.
    There is so much racism in this world… 😦

  7. Emma-Lu Says:

    I just love this movie! The way she uses the Anne Frank story to illustrate the impact of anger and racism in every society. Gosh, what a cool teacher. Then in the end they become this family, and they set aside their differences and help and support each other. Humans encouraging humans and seeing other humans as equal! so nice..
    That’s the GBD aim too. You guys have the same goal as that teacher did in that classroom. Except yours is on a much bigger scale 🙂 xx

  8. Ja Says:

    Me and my sisters were very in-depth about this kind of issue (aside from the environment, politics, animal cruelty/endangered species and poverty). After seeing this movie (TWICE!) last month, I thought of recommending this for Movie Madness Mondays-but it never occurred to me because I thought GBD would be more specific.. hihi! ^^

    When I saw the movie, I never imagined that there are things happening like that in the U.S., especially those “war between different races”.

    My sisters and I were like- Woah! (freaked out!) and we ask these questions to ourselves:

    Is that the only way to earn respect?
    How about other people of the same race (e.g., Asian), those who are not involved but were harmed because they were also Asians?
    And ‘territory’ -What does it have to deal with it?

    It really frightened us, but on top of that, it made us very much aware and it heightened our understanding to human emotions.. everyone wanted to be ‘in a community were everyone not only to be respected but also to feel important’.. It made us realize that these people need help-make them understand and realize that there is so much to be for them in the world: just a little bit of encouragement and a bend in the road to see that there is still life ahead.

    And yes, the movie wouldn’t be seen nor heard around the world if it weren’t for a person who made a difference.

    Clearly, the teacher took risks (a challenge!) and fulfilled a mission that at least, the people in that community can live no matter what your race, religion, and status…

    it takes small steps to inspire others to make a difference..

    It’s very interesting, amazing and inspiring….

    After all, teachers are the ones who will be remembered forever…(Chicken Soup, p 142) ^^

  9. MarilyneL Says:

    I just watched it. What a great movie! As to answer to your question Kendra, I think that our mission is to try to make someone smile. It’s quite simple and easy, and both the other person and you will feel better. That’s what I’ve been trying to do lately, and it works!

  10. Helen Grace Says:

    I saw the movie with my mother and I was truly inspired with what Erin Gruwell has shown these kids who, before they met her, were hell bent on ‘protecting’ themselves from ‘outsiders’ without realizing that by doing so, they were putting up a much higher wall that prevents them from knowing what really is in store for every individual.*whew*

    I love this movie….truly inspiring!

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