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Passage to India? A Guest Column by Pooja Makihijani

Freedom Writers

The plot elements of the new movie "Freedom Writers," starring Hilary Swank, are familiar: young first-year teacher, high school with gang problems, low-achieving and uninterested students. But the movie, based on a true story, is really good, give or take some obvious product placement. (That would be you, Borders). Hilary Swank plays Erin Gruwell, a naive idealist who unites a class of misfits, and they end up saving themselves through writing. I love that. Books (including young-adult novels) play a central role, there's a department head so un-visionary that you want to hiss when she appears on screen, and amid the learning, there's a tiny bit of dancing. I liked this one a lot, much more than the fake-o "History Boys," which is also about a charismatic teacher and his students.

Links: Rotten Tomatoes review compilation; The Freedom Writers Diary, the book on which the movie was based; Freedom Writers Foundation

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Oh ! I still haven't seen History Boys but very much want to - I missed the stage production, owing to insufficient funds for a theatre trip to London, and couldn't find the time or the money for a ticket to see the film. But I've yet to see Richard Griffiths in a bad role...

I was looking so forward to "History Boys," so I was surprised by how much it irritated me. Let me know what you think when you see it, Michele.

Will do - I'm waiting on the DVD !

(Just back from seeing Miss Potter - but that's a Blog post !!

I listened to Erin Gruwell, the teacher. She is amazing. Highly recommend reading the book.

Jone, thanks. I would like to read the book after seeing the movie.

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