July 26 Screening
What: Freedom Writers
When: Saturday July 26, 6:30 pm
Where: Groton School
Farmers Row (Rte. 111), Groton, Massachusetts 01450
Parking: Please see this map.
Cost: Admission is free for members. Non-members can purchase a one-day membership at the door for $12 per person, which includes admission to the receptions, screening, and speaker presentation (if any). For details please see our membership page.
“Freedom Writers” is a story that, as you read the description, you may think you’ve seen many times before. Hillary Swank stars as a young, idealistic teacher who takes a first assignment in an inner-city school and works miracles with the at-risk kids.
It has to put you in mind of “Blackboard Jungle,” “To Sir With Love,” “Stand and Deliver,” “Finding Forrester,” “Dangerous Minds,” “Good Will Hunting.”
This film is different. The story it tells is literally true. The screenplay was adapted from the book the teacher, Erin Gruwell, and 150 students from Woodrow Wilson High in Long Beach wrote about their experiences. The actors who play the endangered kids are all, with one exception, newcomers and unknowns; one of them was killed on the streets before the film released. Erin Gruwell was involved in the production and has a small part in the film. Several of the actual “freedom writers” taught by Ms. Gruwell have walk-on parts.
In short, the level of authenticity and honesty in this film is something very rare coming out of Hollywood.
From the critics — the Boston Globe’s Ty Burr said: “It’s familiar, but ‘Freedom Writers’ still inspires.” The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Eleanor Ringel Gillespie added: “These ‘Writers’ have passion and punch.”
Two-time Academy Award winner Hilary Swank was an executive producer. The film earned the director Richard LaGravenese, who also co-wrote the screen-play, the Humanitas Prize for 2007.