Freedom Writers is a 2007 American drama film written and directed by Richard LaGravenese and starring Hilary Swank, Scott Glenn, Imelda Staunton, Patrick Dempsey, and Mario.
It is based on the book The Freedom Writers Diary by teacher Erin Gruwell and students who compiled the book out of real diary entries about their lives that they wrote in their English class at Woodrow Wilson Classical High School in Long Beach, California. The movie is also based on the DC program called City at Peace. The title of the movie and book is a play on the term “Freedom Riders”, referring to the multiracial civil rights activists who tested the U.S. Supreme Court decision ordering the desegregation of interstate buses in 1961.
The idea for the film came from journalist Tracey Durning, who made a documentary about Erin Gruwell for the ABC News program Primetime Live. Durning served as a co-executive producer of the film. The film was dedicated to the memory of Armand Jones, who was killed after wrapping up Freedom Writers. He was 18 and was shot to death in Anaheim, California after a confrontation with a man who robbed Jones of a necklace in Denny’s restaurant.