Monday, February 23, 2009

Time For A Movie . . . and A Book Too!

A couple Saturdays ago I actually got away from the computer long enough to relax and enjoy watching a movie on Showtime with Gerard. I had seen part of it before but not the whole thing. It was called "Freedom Writers" and is about a first-year high school teacher who made a difference and had a passion for teaching.

The movie is about first-year teacher getting class to teach English to tough kids in L.A. that were into gangs and got them interested in learning and made a huge difference in their lives. Teacher worked two other part-time jobs so she could personally pay for books for her class since the head of the English Dept. wouldn’t let her use any of the good ones they had in stock. She bought them copies of Anne Frank and they identified with it and started writing journals of their own. Became a close knit class interested in doing the right thing and learning. It was interesting how she got the different races in her class to get over their prejudices and come together as a group willing to learn and make a difference in the lives of others.

I love movies about successful teachers and this one actually inspired me to read Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank. My cat, Manny, liked it too! He laid with me on the couch for the whole movie! The Diary of a Young Girl (A definitive edition) is unique because it is a real diary of the Jewish girl, Anne Frank, that she started at age 13 and stopped when she was 15 during the time she was in hiding with seven other people. This is a historical document from the Holocaust. Reading this gave me a real sense of how the Jews lived in fear during that time and how unfair life was. Anne writes all about her feelings about the people she lives with and the day-to-day struggles and fears she lived with for two years. The ending was very sad. It was her father though, who took care of her most treasured possession--her diary and shared it with the world to carry out her wish.

I found this to be an amazing book and am glad I finally read it. Anne Frank had a strong desire to have good character and become a journalist. She shares her dreams and insights of human nature based on the group dynamics she observed during her two years of confinement.

Gerard got the "Freedom Writers Diary" from the library after seeing the movie and said the book was even better so I'm reading it too.

What type movies do you like? Does anyone know of any other good movies about teachers? I can think of a few: Bells of St. Mary's (my favorite), The Ron Clark Story, Coach Carter, Mr. Headmistress (comedy), and there's another one about a police officer who decided to start a special class to help kids whose parents were in jail but I don't remember the name of it. Anyone know what movie that was?


Grace said...

Hi Karen, I love good movies and good books, too. I collected them.
Have a happy monday. :)

The Author said...

Karen, there are so many wonderful movies about teachers. Two that come to mind immediately are "The Dead Poets Society" and "Mr. Holland's Opus."

Anne Frank's diary was amazing and so sad and awful when we realize it is an actual teenager writing this diary in hiding from the Holocaust. I got to visit Anne Frank's hiding place when I was in Holland and I was so incredibly moved. History is a living thing and we should never forget its lessons.
Thanks for a great post.

Sandee said...

We don't have television and haven't a clue about any of these types of movies. Sorry.

Now reading is quite another thing. Very enjoyable indeed.

Have a terrific day and week. :)

Daisy said...

We read Anne Frank's diary, too. It was such a moving story. I think everybuddy should read it!

We just recently read "Skeletons at the Feast" which was a really interesting novel about German refugees fleeing Nazi German as the Russian army enters Germany.

DogsDeserveFreedom said...

Freedom Writers Diary was a great book and good movie.

I like your blog - found it through BlogCatalog. Feel free to come by mine and leave a comment! Would you be interested in linking sites?


Anonymous said...

Grace: What kind of books do you like? Have you checked out my other blog about the book I wrote? (

Mountain Woman: I saw both those you mentioned too.

Sandee: No TV? I don't watch much but my husband likes watching sports. Sometimes we'll watch a movie too, but I'm mostly on the computer since I started blogging.

Daisy: Thanks for sharing about "Skeletons At The Feast." I never heard of that one!

Dogs Deserve Freedom: I will visit your blog. I don't just exchange links though.

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