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Freedom Writers [DVD] [2007] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]

Hilary Swank , Imelda Staunton , Richard LaGravenese    DVD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (64 customer reviews)
Price: 7.65
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Region 1 encoding (requires a North American or multi-region DVD player and NTSC compatible TV. More about DVD formats.)

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Freedom Writers [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] Freedom Writers [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] 4.8 out of 5 stars (64)
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Freedom Writers [DVD] [2007] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] + The Freedom Writers Diary: How a Teacher and 150 Teens Used Writing to Change Themselves and the World Around Them
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Product details

  • Actors: Hilary Swank, Imelda Staunton, Patrick Dempsey, Scott Glenn, April L. Hernandez
  • Directors: Richard LaGravenese
  • Writers: Richard LaGravenese, Erin Gruwell, Freedom Writers
  • Producers: Hilary Swank, Daniel S. Levine, Danny DeVito, Jordana Glick-Franzheim
  • Format: AC-3, Closed-captioned, Colour, Dolby, Dubbed, DVD-Video, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English, French
  • Subtitles: English
  • Dubbed: French
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested) (US MPAA rating. See details.)
  • Studio: Paramount
  • DVD Release Date: 17 April 2007
  • Run Time: 123 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (64 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000NOK1KC
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 104,136 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)



Though the "inspirational teacher" theme may feel done to death, Freedom Writers succeeds because it emphasizes the students as much as the teacher. Erin Gruwell (Hilary Swank, Million Dollar Baby, Boys Don't Cry) comes to a southern California high school bubbling over with naive optimism, but quickly discovers that her unruly classroom isn't easily won over by her good intentions. After a few floundering attempts to connect with her students, Gruwell gives them the assignment of keeping journals about their own lives - an assignment that the class bites into with relish, which eventually bonds them together and pushes racial rivalries aside. This plotline has been made before, sometimes well, sometimes poorly. Freedom Writers, by drawing heavily from the published journals of the students (and thanks to a mostly unheroic script, direction that emphasizes individual characters over stereotypes, and rigorous performances from the whole cast)makes the story seem fresh and genuine. Swank does solid work, but the standouts are April L. Hernandez as a girl whose gang wants her to lie and send an innocent boy to jail and Imelda Staunton (Vera Drake) as a teacher who resents Gruwell's offbeat success. Also featuring Patrick Dempsey (Grey's Anatomy), Scott Glenn (The Right Stuff), and a plethora of strong young actors. --Bret Fetzer

Product Description

Swank/Glenn/Dempsey ~ Freedom Writers

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
Set amidst a backdrop of gang violence in L.A, novice teacher Erin Gruwell (Hilary Swank) sets about educating a racial mixed class of underprivileged students.

what unfolds is the usual story of poorer children being denied a decent education by those within the system who uphold the prejudices of the wider society. Of course up steps the naive, initiatly inept and well meaning Gruwell in attempt to help.

This storyline has been done before, in Dangerous Minds, Coach Carter, Glory Road to mention but a few.

From a cynical, logical and detached point of view, all the age old maudlin, emotion evoking mechanisms employed by Hollywood are resorted to once more.

On a slightly more emotional note, I found some parts quite poignant when seeing the prejudice, lack of opportunity, neglect and abuse suffered by the characters. The issues I felt were approached from a realistic stance not from a melodramatic or sensationalist one. Unfortunately, the personal struggles contained herein are an accurate portrayal of those faced by the poorest children in America.

Race is an issue in this film and again it was dealt with a fairly realistic, non-sensationalist way. Again the racial aspect of poverty, crime, violence, lack of education was dealt with pretty well.

Gruwell's character is played well by Swank who conveys an air of naivety (at first) yet also sincerity, integrity, and a strong social conscience that drives her to challenge an educational system founded on extreme racial and class prejudices.

Even though this is a familiar storyline, Freedom Writers I found to be genuinely touching at times. Yes it is a typical 'feel good factor' Hollywood film done in a straight forward way, but there is still a strong social/political message attached.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Weepie 9 July 2007
By Only Me
For those emotionally secure people, such as myself, I found it hard to keep my emotionally secured feelings emotionally secured whilst watching this film. It was edited fantastically, shot brilliantly, acted amazingly and worked together to form a perfect whole.

There is, of course, the fact that it is an all too common issue, one which we see all too much of, to little effect. There is also the fact that the same old shootings and naive do-gooders make their respective appearances, however, the primary synopsis of the teacher trying to make herself understood, to a class trying to make themselves understood goes hand-in-hand for a movie that crescendoes and breaks the emotional barriers of the most secure people.

My friend cries at nothing. My friend sobbed in the cinema.
Watch it. Alone. Absorb. Then buy the book!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Film Reviewer 17 July 2008
Yes, you may have seen similar films like this but for me i think this film was great viewing as it wasn't about the pupils fitting in and having their lives turned around, it was also a teachers struggle to earn the respect of her pupils.
I've never seen a hilary swank film but gotta say she was really good in her role and most of all convincing.

With all what's going on i think this well worth watching and would recommend this to anyone.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WOW! A cracking movie 31 Mar 2008
I watched this on the weekend and was blown away. I love films and in an age of CGI animation and blockbuster special effects, it was liberating to watch a film that was so moving and inspirational.

The film tells the story of a teacher, who from her class room, managed to change peoples lives for the better and give them a tool to change the education.

This film prooves that if you dare to dream and reach for the might just get there. Watch the film as it will inpspire you.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By Spike Owen TOP 500 REVIEWER
Freedom Writers is written and directed by Richard LaGravenese, who adapts from the Freedom Writers Diary written by Erin Gruwell and her class of students at Woodrow Wilson High School in Long Beach California. It stars Hilary Swank, Patrick Dempsey, Scott Glenn, Imelda Staunton, Jason Finn and Kristin Herrera.

Swank plays Erin Gruwell, an inspirational teacher type who after taking up the teaching position at Woodrow Wilson finds her classroom is a hotbed of ill education and racial disharmony. With little support coming from her superiors and within her own marriage, Gruwell took a novel approach to the task in hand to make a real life difference to her students.

There's been plenty of similar films of this ilk over the years, from way back with The Blackboard Jungle, up to Coach Carter, and stopping briefly for tea, cake and violence with The Principal and Dangerous Minds. Each follows a well worn path of a teacher rising to the challenge of making their respective students better people, even when the odds are stacked against them achieving positive results. Freedom Writers has a real life story in its favour, while the blending of Oscar winner Swank with non professional actors playing the students, really works well and gives the picture an earthy and grounded texture. True, it's full of clichés (racial stereotypes, troubled family backgrounds, dragonian principal), and you sense that even with an extended running time of two hours that we aren't quite getting the full story. Rendering the big class turnaround as seeming contrived.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 1 day ago by ellie
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Brilliant item and sellers. Def worth it..
Published 11 days ago by Arepamone Emein
5.0 out of 5 stars One for education
One of the most inspiring films I have seen, HOPE, stands out greatly in this film. Schools should be made to watch it.
Published 24 days ago by jacqueline abel
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 1 month ago by trevor sargison
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
very enjoyable
Published 1 month ago by john
5.0 out of 5 stars Freedom Writers DVD
Pass it, watch it, be inspired, inspire others. I couldn't wait to pass this on to my daughter who is a music teacher in a tough school but hey, anyone can benefit... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Dave Walsh
5.0 out of 5 stars Freedom Writers
Good content and acting. Its a great way to get teenagers thinking and applying them selves in the world of education.
Published 2 months ago by Nicole Ryding
5.0 out of 5 stars very moving film
Has to be one of the best movies I have ever seen. I am a trainee teacher and just by watching this movie alone has given me new ideas and methods to try and use in the class to... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Honeybun
5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant
Saw this on TV and loved it so much Ihad to have it, based on a true story, it was lovely to see these young people's lives turned around and them get something more out of live... Read more
Published 5 months ago by danglepuss
4.0 out of 5 stars Great film
Inspirational, knowing this is based on a true story. Perhaps essential viewing for all new teachers? Gripping and thought provoking
Published 5 months ago by Gill Hicks
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