Pardon the pink. It is the so-called “red” colour in the anime markers I bought in a Japanese book store I found near Place de la Concorde.

I drew this after catching a glimpse of a scene in the movie The Freedom Writers which was showed on my flight home from Paris. At first, I wasn’t interested in watching the movie because I assumed it would be cliche. But as I watched, I realized how wrong I was.

What a fantastic movie! In a nutshell, it is about a classroom of students in LA who couldn’t care less about English literature (like all movie on this topic) while their white teacher tries to get them motivated (like all movie on this topic). Of course, the students are not white and the system doesn’t care about them and leaves them to be the under-achievers and criminals they expect them to be.

However, the teacher works 3 jobs in order to buy the students books and take them on trips — yes, all with her own money. This is based on a true story by the way.

She also gives them journals to write down their thoughts. Unfortunately, the quality of the sound on the plane was terrible so I heard only half of the dialogue.

What was remarkable was the teacher used the story of Anne Frank, the Jewish holocaust (which made me think about all the plaques I saw on the schools of Paris commemorating the students who were deported during WW2) and the black struggle during and after slavery to show the students that their modern-day experiences are the same.

Even without hearing the dialogue, I was able to understand the students’ journey. And like the cliche, in the end, the students love the teacher and make it to graduation.

But The Freedom Writers is more than just a cliche. It is a movie about building people up. Encouraging them to fight the obstacles that are in their way. That one teacher transformed her students’ lives in ways no one would have ever, ever imagined. Oh, this was definitely no cliche movie!

Superimpose her husband feeling that he has no hope in going back to school to become an architect. Meanwhile, her students have found the hope of a future.

I highly, highly recommend this movie. Especially to teachers who feel they are getting no support from their administration. My review isn’t even doing the movie justice. Just go watch it. It is fantastic.

[tags]The Freedom Writers[/tags]