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Freedom Writers

Classroom concentration camp
By BROOKE HOLGERSON  |  January 3, 2007
1.5 1.5 Stars
Based on a true story, this Dangerous Minds retread stars Hilary Swank as a naive teacher in Los Angeles who takes a misfit group of gangbangers and dealers and teaches them about poetry, life . . . and Anne Frank. Seriously. It’s all very inspirational. Written and directed by Richard LaGravenese from journals published by the real-life students, Freedom Writers makes comparisons between the lives of these troubled teenagers and the Holocaust that are puzzling, to say the least. High-school students the world over read The Diary of a Young Girl, but as far as I know, this is the first film to equate living in inner-city LA with a concentration camp. Even without that weirdness, the film is pretty silly — Hilary Swank’s goofy guidance seems unlikely to touch hearts or minds.

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