:: Freedom Writers March 29, 2008Posted by Minci 先生 in Everyday Life, Movie/TV Reviews, Ponderings.
They call themselves the Freedom Writers in homage to the original civil right activist group ‘Freedom Riders’.
**Civil Rights activists called Freedom Riders rode in interstate buses into the segregated southern United States to test the United States Supreme Court decision Boynton v. Virginia, (1960) 364 U.S. The first Freedom Ride left Washington D.C. on May 4, 1961, and was scheduled to arrive in New Orleans on May 17. Riders were arrested for trespassing, unlawful assembly, violating state and local Jim Crow laws, etc. Most of the subsequent rides were sponsored by the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) while others belonged to the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). The Freedom Rides followed on the heels of dramatic “sit-ins” against segregated lunch counters conducted by students and youth throughout the South, and boycotts beginning in 1960.
** White Freedom Riders were particularly singled out for frenzied beatings. Two riders were hospitalized, including white Freedom Rider Jim Peck who required 52 stitches to close the wounds in his head. That night, the hospitalized Freedom Riders were kicked out of the Hospital at 2 AM because the staff feared the mob outside the hospital. Local civil rights leader Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth organized several cars of blacks who defied the mob to rescue the injured Freedom Riders.
** During the summer of 1961, Freedom Riders also campaigned against other forms of racial discrimination. They sat together in segregated restaurants, lunch counters and hotels. This was especially effective when it targeted large companies who, fearing boycotts in the North, began to desegregate their businesses
** The Freedom Rides established great credibility with blacks and whites throughout the United States who became motivated to engage in direct action for civil rights. Perhaps most significantly, Freedom Riders impressed blacks living in rural areas throughout the South who later formed the backbone of the civil rights movement. This credibility inspired many subsequent civil rights campaigns, including voter registration, freedom schools, and the black power movement.
To me, a good movie is when it;
Gives great entertainment value. The adrenaline rush, effective gooseflesh effect, heightens serotonin levels etc.. or
Allows viewers to reflect and ponder on the morale in the story or
Creates room for viewer participation.
Introduces viewers to a different culture and way of living.
In short, something to be gained. All this within the perception of the viewer of course.
As of the film Freedom Writer starring Hillary Swank, I loved it because of how it ‘ Allows viewers to reflect and ponder on the morale in the story ‘. It made me think about;
The psychology behind a man’s behaviour when living with a female counterpart of great charisma. How the feeling of being made redundant of his role as the breadwinner or if I could say, main focus of attention by partner is diminished. How a man is unable to be a ‘wife’ to his wife and just stand there to be supportive of the other half. Interestingly, it seems to subtly portray that if ladies dont give men the attention they need, they’d seek it elsewhere. Similarly if men dont feel superior or the slight perception of being ‘more’/’better’ than spouse. This, in certain population of the male species though.
The power of education and the creativity needed in delivering it. Not only in a formal setting like school but also to the outside public.
The Holocaust. The death of so many innocent lives! Whenever this topic crops up, one scenario automatically springs to mind. It happened a few years ago when I was in my 1st year of medical school. I was watching a documentary on Auswitch concentration camp with another senior in the TV room. Halfway through the show, she suddenly rose up from her seat and said,
“Okay, I’m going upstairs to study now. Man..I like Hitler..”
Before I could ask why.. she volunteered an answer.
“Because he’s the only one on Earth who could abolish all the Jews on the face of the earth”
Eversince that day, I lose total respect over her and resented her presence. This ridiculously, farcical statement coming from the mouth of a Muslim Malaysian future doctor? How anti-semitic of her! I can understand the hatred towards those evil people who happens to be Jewish but towards all of the Jewish community? To the helpless mothers and children who were gassed in the chamber? Who were mutilated? Now thats despicable.
Freedom Writers are still up and running with ‘Their story. Their world. Their future’. 🙂