Denmark: Freedom Writers and The Dream
Cyprus: The Chorus and Dangerous Minds
Luxembourg: The Wave
1. Freedom Writers
To listen to Erin Gruwell, click here
To read about Freedom Writers Foundation
The film is set between 1994 and 1996 and begins with scenes from the 1992 Los Angeles riots. Swank plays the role of Erin Gruwell, a new excited school teacher, who leaves the safety of her hometown to teach at Woodrow Wilson High School in Long Beach. This high school, which was a formerly high achieving school, has recently started an integration plan. Her enthusiasm is rapidly challenged when she realizes that her class are all "at-risk" high school students. They are considered as "unteachables" by the rest of the teachers, especially the head of the department.
If you want to know more about the plot, click here
Nice White Lady is just a trope for an outsider and the skits humor stems from making too much of trivial differences. Freedom Writers is one in a long line of movies that are written around an outsider who comes into a broken school and miraculously makes a difference for some disadvantaged kids in spite of “The System.” Some even trace it back to The Bells of St. Mary's from 1945 with Ingrid Bergman and Bing Crosby.
- Others include 1955s, Blackboard Jungle, nice white guy.
- 1966, To Sir, With Love, nice black guy.
- 1988, Stand and Deliver, true story of a nice latino guy.
- 1989, Lean On Me, true story of a mean black guy.
- 1995, Dangerous Minds, another true story of a nice white lady.
- 2006, The Ron Clark Story, true dramatization about a nice white guy.
2. The Chorus
The Chorus (French: Les choristes) is a 2004 French drama film directed by Christophe Barratier. Co-written by Barratier and Philippe Lopes-Curval, it is an adaptation of the 1945 film A Cage of Nightingales (La Cage aux Rossignols), which in turn was adapted by Noël-Noël and René Wheeler from a story by Wheeler and Georges Chaperot.
Widely successful orchestra conductor Pierre Morhange(Jean-Baptiste Maunier) returns to France when his mother dies. He reminisces about his childhood inspirations through the pages of a diary kept by his old music teacher Clément Mathieu (Gérard Jugnot). In 1949, a young Pierre (Jean-Baptiste Maunier) is the badly behaved son of single mother Violette (Marie Bunel). He attends a boarding institution, Fond de L'Etang ("Bottom of the Pond"), for "difficult" boys presided over by strict headmaster Mr. Rachin (François Berléand). New teacher Mathieu brightens up the school and assembles a choir, leading to the discovery of Pierre's musical talents and a transformation in the children.
On Monday, I introduced my sophomore history students to one of the experiences that characterized Nazi Germany. Discipline. I lectured about the beauty of discipline. How an athlete feels having worked hard and regularly to be successful at a sport. How a ballet dancer or painter works hard to perfect a movement. The dedicated patience of a scientist in pursuit of an Idea. it’s discipline. That self training. Control. The power of the will. The exchange of physical hardships for superior mental and physical facilities. The ultimate triumph.
The Wave (German: Die Welle) is a 2008 German film directed by Dennis Gansel and starring Jürgen Vogel, Max Riemelt, Jennifer Ulrich, Jacob Matschenz and Frederick Lau. It is based on the book The Wave which was inspired by the social experiment The Third Wave. The film was produced by Christian Becker for Rat Pack Filmproduktion. It was quite successful in German cinemas, and after 10 weeks 2.3 million people had watched the film.
The film opens with high-school teacher Rainer Wenger (Jürgen Vogel) driving to his job while passionately singing along to a cover of Rock 'n' Roll High School.
The high school is having a project week and Wenger discusses autocracy with his class. His students, third generation after the Second World War, do not believe that a dictatorship could be established in modern Germany, so Wenger starts an experiment to demonstrate how easily the masses can be manipulated. Two classes are chosen: Wenger's to be the autocracy group, and another to be the anarchy one. Since Wenger himself is an anarchist, he accepts his role only because the other teacher refused to switch. However, he goes into the project with enthusiasm and, as a popular teacher, has the students' full attention.
- For more information, click here
- To know more about the True Story the film is based on, click here