The Main Themes of the Movie Freedom Writers

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Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • Freedom Writers and the Reality of Gang Violence
  • Portrayal of Long Beach School in Freedom Writers
  • Conclusion


“I know what you are up against. We’re all up against something.”

The “Freedom Writers” is a 2007 film that focuses on the diversity that happened in the ghettos of LA in the 1900s and how a new teacher abolished the walls in between them to bring them together. In this film the students have an inconspicuous war between Races due to poverty and power. Freedom Writers is a very historically accurate movie because it depicts the poverty, struggle and war that the freedom writers went through, however like every movie based on a true story not all details in the movie were 100% accurate.

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Freedom Writers and the Reality of Gang Violence

The win awarding movie that was based in 1992 to 1996, right when gang violence was at its peak thanks to the Rodney King Riots that took place in the 1992s. Being one of the most horrible beatings to a black man this relates to freedom writers because of what was going on with “minorities” and white supremacy. In the movie The teacher asks one of the students why the student hates her just for being white even though she doesn’t know her, and the student (Eva Benítez in the movie) answers, “I saw white cops come into my house and take my father away for no REASON except they feel like it! Except because they can! And they can, because they're white”. This depicts how white people had the power over all the other races in the movie.

Portrayal of Long Beach School in Freedom Writers

A 2007 article “Dis ‘Writers’ get it wrong” speaks about how the portrayal of the Long Beach High School in Freedom Writers. Being one of the districts jewels the real school finds itself in between well economically family’s and is even said that it can be considered a learning academy, however in the movie it is shown as a beaten down, gang filled nightmare. The Long Beach School district Supt. Chris Steinhauser says "Anybody who knows Long Beach knows the high school is nothing like that". Some people still can not get the thought of this movie in their head, thinking it insulting that they would portray their school like that. And in spite of it all some people such as Steinbouser himself believed that although the way it had characterized the school the movie freedom writers was quite uplifting. The unspoken tension between the Latinos, Blacks, Whites, and Cambodian cliques tie the racial segregation that happened to the kids in their everyday efforts. From walking to class to certain streets, each group had their own gang territory. The kids were willing to fight and even kill to protect their territory because if someone stepped on their “reign ” it was a sign of disrespect.


In the movie it is said that they are not sure how this inconspicuous war started, and that they simply had to follow what their ancestors had started years ago. The struggles the kids go over for a simple section of territory and the race segregation they face are accurately depicted in scenes of the Freedom Writers, compared to gangs in real life and all the violence they had to face to have power. In conclusion, with the exception of how the school was portrayed, the Freedom Writers movie was successfully a historically accurate movie as it really depicted what was going on around that time and how the students were living and treating each other due to the poverty, white supremacy, and the infamous racial war.

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