Freedom Writers Diary is a non-fiction movie that was filmed in 2007. This movie differs from any other teen genre movie with its content. In the movie the students of Wilson Highschool are mostly consisted of immigrants, black people, basically kids who are outsiders in the society. This movie challenges status quo of teen genre movies because we don’t see typical blonde popular girl, a nerd guy or a sporty dumb popular boy.
Those teens in this movie, use guns, they all have lost at least a friend in a clash, most of them have been to juvenile and they hang out with the people from the same race. However we see a reinforcement of the status quo in a unusual way. More than being popular being strong-as a gang and as an individual- is more important for these kids. At the very beginning Eva(a Latin teenage girl) says: “In America, a girl can be crowned a princess for her beauty, and her grace. But an Aztec princess is chosen for her blood. To fight for her people as Papi and his father fought, against those who say we are less than they are, against those who say that we are not equal in beauty or blessings.”
She criticizes the gender roles and femininity, however she suggests that the value of a person or a girl shouldn’t be about the beauty, should be about being strong. For example; not any other person from a different gang can enter to other gang’s boundaries, if so that means war, a war with real guns, not only in their real lives but also in their schools. The Asians sit together, the black people sit together, Cambodian sit together and Latinas sit together. They each have boundaries.
We also see a teacher figure who has no authority at the beginning but gains respect after she esteemed the kids-which we usually don’t see in teen genre movies.
This movie challenges cast system in the society more than status quo.