Miyerkules, Setyembre 28, 2011

Ethics Analysis of Freedom Writers



Freedom Writers


A Film Value Analysis Presented By


Vanessa B. Roll
B.S.E.D. IV-E to
Dr. Danilo B. Solayao


In Partial Fulfillment of Requirement in ED415
Values, Ethics, and Relevant Laws
Polytechnic University of the Philippines
San Pedro Campus
1st sem., S.Y. 2011-2012



I.                    Preliminaries
A.     Title of the Film : Freedom Writers
B.     Writer : Richard Lagravenese
C.     Director : Richard LaGravenese
D.     Cast/Character :

·        Hilary Swank- as Erin Gruwell played as young teacher inspires her class of at-risk students to learn tolerance, apply themselves, and pursue education beyond high school. 
·    Patrick Dempsey- as Scott Casey husband of Erin Gruwell, a loving who eventually left Erin.     
·        Scott Glenn- played as Steve Gruwell a very supportive and loving father of Erin Gruwell.
·        Imelda Staunton- played as Margaret Campbell one of the school official.
·        Pat Carrol- played as Miep Gies who is Anne Frank the writer of the book which inspires a lot to her student.

Erin Gruwell’s student who belongs to Room 203
·        April L. Hernandez- played as Eva Benitez teenage girl who witnesses his father died.
·        Mario- played as Andre Bryant
·        Kristin Herrera- played as Gloria Munez
·        Jaclyn Ngan- played as  Sindy
·        Sergio Montalvo- played as Alejandro Santiago
·        Jason Finn- played as Marcus
·        Deance Wyatt- played as Jamal Hill
·        Vanetta Smith- played as Brandy Ross
·        Gabriel Chavarria- played as Tito
·        Hunter Parrish- played as Ben Daniels


II.                 Introduction
The movie Freedom Writers is an extra-ordinary film that shows the value of teacher and student relationship. When I watched the movie I realized how important the role of the teacher is. The teacher encourages, inspire, motivate and shape the lives of her student. She gives hope in each in everyone of us. The teacher teaches the mind, touches lives and transforms the personality of an individual. Make the student to be brave enough to face all the challenges which comes in their lives. The film shows the determination of the teacher to sharpen the minds of the student. She did everything to unite all the different races that belong in the section she is handling such as black American, Vietnamese, Hispanic, white American, Japanese, and Cambodian etc. Doing such task is not easy, but she challenges herself to make that. And it’s very amazing that in the end of the story she make it. With this background, an idealistic teacher (Hillary Swank) arrives to teach Freshmen English. She is very educated, pretty, middle class, non-ethnic, well dressed and smart. From day one, she doesn't fit in the classroom with this tough kids, and she doesn't fit in the faculty, who have all but given up and resigned themselves to being the keepers of the student warehouse. But our idealistic teacher will not give up. She slowly painfully tries to teach by first learning about" the pain..." the students feel. She encourages each of her students to keep a journal of their painful and difficult life, and then to share a journal with her. She also attempts to get a four ethnic groups to come together by getting them to recognize what they have in common specifically their music; their movies, their broken families and their broken community surroundings. While struggling with the students, she has to deal at the same time two complicated and demanding male relationships. Her husband (Patrick Dempsey) is often supportive but often jealous in her time commitments. Her father (Scott Glenn) is often disappointed with her career choice, but often proud of her courage and tenacity. This story feels real. It is beautifully done. The acting of Swank, Dempsey and Glenn is professional and believable. More importantly the story highlights our society's challenges in schooling the children of poor and one-parent families. The movie doesn't give miracle answers. But it does give hope. And in the end, sincere effort appears to count for something... maybe everything. 


III.               Synopsis

The story line of the movie takes place between 1992-1995, beginning with scenes from the 1992 Los Angeles Riots. Hillary Swank plays the role of Erin Gruwell a new, excited, schoolteacher who leave the safety of her hometown, Newport Beach to teach at Woodrow Wilson High School in Long Beach, a formerly high achieving school which has recently had an integration program put in place. Her enthusiasm is quickly challenges when she realizes that her class is all "at-risk" students also known as "unteachables" and not the eager students she was expecting. The students segregate themselves into racial groups in the classroom, fights breakout and eventually most of the students stop turning up to class. Not only does Gruwell meet opposition from her students, but she also have a hard time with her department head, which refuses to let her teach her students with books in case they get damaged and lost, and instead tell her to focus on teaching them discipline and obedience. One night, two students, Eva (April Lee Hernandez) , a Hispanic girl and narrator for much of the film, and a Cambodian refugee, Sindy (Jacklyn Ngan) find themselves in the same convenience store. Another student Grant Rice (Armand Jones) is frustrated at losing an arcade game and demands refund from the owner. When he storms out Eva's boyfriend attempts a drive-by shooting, wanting to kill Grant but misses, accidentally killing Sindy's boyfriend. As Eva is a witness, she must testify at court; she intends to protect her own kind in her testimony. At school Gruwell intercepts a racist drawing of one of her students uses it to teach them about the Holocaust. She gradually begins to earn their trust and buys them composition books to record their diaries, in which they talk about their experiences of being abused, seeing their friends dies, and being evicted. Determine to reform her students, she takes two part-time jobs to pay for more books and spends more time at school, to the disappointment of her husband (Patrick Dempsey). Her students start to behave with respect and learn more. A transformation is especially visible in one of her students, Marcus (Jason Finn) She invites several holocaust survivors to talk with her class about their experiences and takes them on the field trip to the Museum of Tolerance.Meanwhile, her unorthodox teaching methods are scorned by her colleagues and department chair Margaret Campbell (Imelda Staunton). The next year comes and Gruwell, teaches her class again for sophomore (second) year. In class, when reading The Diary of Anne Frank, they invite Miep Gies (Pat Carroll), the woman who sheltered Anne frank from the German soldiers to talk to them. After they raise the money to bring her over, she tells them her experiences hiding Anne Frank. When Marcus tells her that she is her hero, she denies it, claiming she was merely doing the right thing. Her denial causes Eva to rethink lying during her testimony. When she testify, she finally breaks down and tell the truth, much of her family members' dismay. Meanwhile, Gruwell asks their students to write their diaries in book form. She compiles the entries and names it The Freedom Writers Diary. Her husband divorces her and Margaret tells her she cannot teach her kids for their junior year. She fights this decision eventually convincing the superintendent to allow her to teach her kids' junior and senior year. The film ends with a note that Gruwell successfully brought many of her students to graduation and college. 

IV.              Ethics Analysis

A.     Explain the title. How appropriate is it?
The title “Freedom Writers” is appropriate for the movie because the teacher there which is Ms. Gruwell use the memories of the student for them to express their feelings and emotions to be their journal in their day-to-day life. It helps the student to widen their vocabulary as well.
B.     Characterize the protagonist/s and antagonist/s (if there’s any) of the story.
·        Hilary Swank- as Erin Gruwell played as young teacher inspires her class of at-risk students to learn tolerance, apply themselves, and pursue education beyond high school. Main character in the story who inspires her students to pursue their studies.  
      ·    Patrick Dempsey- as Scott Casey husband of Erin Gruwell, a loving who eventually                left Erin.     
·        Scott Glenn- played as Steve Gruwell a very supportive and loving father of Erin Gruwell who always there to listen with her daughter.
·        Imelda Staunton- played as Margaret Campbell one of the school official. A non-supportive teacher who doesn’t believe to Erin that she can do something about the students.

Erin Gruwell’s students who belong to Room 203
·        April L. Hernandez- played as Eva Benitez teenage girl who witnesses his father died.
·        Mario- played as Andre Bryant
·        Kristin Herrera- played as Gloria Munez
·        Jaclyn Ngan- played as  Sindy
·        Sergio Montalvo- played as Alejandro Santiago
·        Jason Finn- played as Marcus
·        Deance Wyatt- played as Jamal Hill
·        Vanetta Smith- played as Brandy Ross
·        Gabriel Chavarria- played as Tito
·        Hunter Parrish- played as Ben Daniels

C.     Who among the characters impressed you most? Expound.
The character that impressed me most is the character of Ms. Erin Gruwell a young teacher and newbie to the teacher’s profession who did everything for her student to be interested in study. She has assign in freshmen who do not care about their teachers and lesson. I was impressed with her incomparable dedication and patience to her students.
The second character that impressed me most is the character of Eva Benitez a young teenage girl who witnesses the death of her classmate in a convenience store shot by her frat mate. She revealed the truth in the court even though she knows her life will endanger because of the frat she belongs and become traitor in it.   

D.     Which part of the film do you like best? Elaborate.

The part of the film which I like best is when Ms. Gruwell and her student raise some funds to meet Anne Frank the writer of the book she assigned to read. They make a food stall to add funds and also join in a dance contest. Finally, they earn funds to invite and fetch Anne Frank and be there resource speaker for their program. Her students are very inspired with her book. That’s why they’re really eager to meet her.

E.      Cite at least (5) lines or dialogue in the film that reflect the characters values. Interpret the meaning of each time.

Andre: Why should I respect to you? Because you're a teacher? I don't know you. How do I know you're not a liar standing up there? How do I know you're not a bad person standing up there? I'm not just gonna give you my respect because you're called a teacher.

-These lines means Andre do not just want to give his respect to anyone who doesn't more 
about it. Respect is very important word for him.
   Eva: White people wanting their respect like it's for free.
    -Eva believes that there is a big difference between the race and color of people.Because in her experience white people and black treats differently. As well with the privilege people given with it. 

Andre: Justice doesn't mean the bad guy goes to jail, it just means that someone pays for the crime. 
-         Justice means fairness or equity along with the punishment of the breach of said ethics. The only thing that lessens the burden in victim’s lives is when the person who is guilty of doing the crime goes to jail.

Erin Gruwell: You know what this is? This is a Fuck You to me and everyone in this class. I don't want excuses. I know what you're up against. We're all of us up against something. So you better make up your mind, because until you have the balls to look me straight in the eye and tell me this is all you deserve, I am not letting you fail. Even if that means coming to your house every night until you finish the work. I see who you are. Do you understand me? I can see you. And you are not failing. 
-         Ms. Erin does not want to fail her student who neglects to do his task, and encourage him to do his duties as a student no matter how busy he is. As a teacher she is really concern for each of his student for their progress and it is very important to her to see they’re changing as day goes by.

Miep Gies: You are the heroes. You are heroes every day. 
But even an ordinary secretary or a housewife or a teenager can, within their own small ways, turn on a small light in a dark room. 
-         In every little thing we do each day like fighting to reach our dreams, we become a hero for ourselves and for our family. We can make our own way to be a hero on our own.

V.                 Conclusion and Recommendation

A.     What were your feelings toward the conclusion of the film? If you were the writer, how would you have ended the story?
-         My feelings toward the conclusion of the film is good, it is actually the thing I want to happen. Ms. Gruwell will remain to be there teacher, for them to be more motivated to study hard, to graduate and continue their study in college. The officials of the school had a hard time to make a decision for moving her position in junior and senior year of the batch she handled. The only thing I didn’t like toward the ending of the story is when the relationship of Erin with his husband gets mess and lead to divorce. Because of being dedicated and busy with her profession and the things she can do to make her student interested with her lesson, she neglected her duties and responsibilities with her husband. Finally her husband decided to have divorce. If I were the writer, I would ended the story
with Erin reunited with her understanding and supportive husband.

B.     Would you recommend this film to a friend? Why and why not?
-         Yes, I will recommend this film to a friend because it will serve as inspiration to everyone. It shows the dedication and passion of the teacher to pursue her duties. Keep the good relationship between the student and teacher. And when you want something, you can get that through hard work, giving all your heart, prayer and faith.


  

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