Inspiring Education

Boys Don’t Cry – A Film Critique

The teacher (Hilary Swank) inspires them to take an interest in their education.

The story of an idealistic teacher in a troubled school is practically a genre, going back to 1967’s “To Sir With Love” and including such films as “Stand and Deliver,” “Lean on Me” and “Dangerous Minds.” Hilary Swank, who has won two Oscars for her work, was intrigued when she read the script for Boys Don’t Cry, about Tina Brandon, who lived as a man in rural Nebraska, passing as Brandon Teena, and ultimately experiencing gruesome tragedy.

Then, she heard about Freedom Writers, the film based on the true story of Erin Gruwell, a teacher who helped a group of disengaged students in Long Beach, California, to start writing about their lives and turn their lives around by reading stories that resonated with them. She knew this was a role she had to take. Fortunately, director Clint Eastwood agreed. The resulting movie has a powerful message of hope and the belief that sincere effort counts for something maybe even everything.

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