Part a explanatory Paragraph

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by Jodi McKay


Part A - Explanatory Paragraph

The scene where Jamal takes Forrester to the empty baseball field is a pivotal point in their relationship and the movie. While researching Forrester, Jamal knew the baseball field was very important to him. Forrester confides in Jamal that he and his brother went to every baseball game until his brother went to war. One night, after an evening of drinking, he allowed his brother to drive home and he was killed in a car crash. He said after that everything changed for them and within five months he buried his mom, dad and brother.

Jamal turned to him and said “the rest of those who have gone before us cannot steady the unrest of those that follow”. It was here that Forrester and Jamal friends solidified and where the end of the movie was foretold.
When Forrester came to the school to support Jamal he read “losing family obliges us to find our family - not always the family that is our blood but the family that can become our blood and should we have the wisdom to open our door” and it was then he realized the one thing he had wished for was the gift of friendship – and he had received this with Jamal.

Part B – Paragraph Essay

“Finding Forrester”

The movie “Finding Forrester” is about the relationship between a young man who is from the poor end of town and an elderly man who has been hiding away in his apartment. Their relationship starts off uneasy after Jamal breaks into Forrester’s home. As the story progresses the two become friends, but it is more than just friends – it is about slowly learning about each other, the respect that is built for each other, their love of writing and the loyalty to each other that develops. How did two such different people come together and form such a tight bond and friendship?

Two very different people - one common passion. Is this enough to build a friendship on? Jamal comes from a very different world than Forrester. The opening of the movie shows what life was like for Jamal growing up in a poor black neighbourhood, in a single-parent home. For Forrester, he is a recluse, who retreated from life after publishing his book Avalon Landing and losing his family. After a dare from his friends, Jamal breaks into Forrester’s house, leaving his backpack containing his journals. When his backpack is returned, he finds his journals have been edited. Jamal finds the courage to knock on Forrester’s door and asks for help with his writing. After Jamal completes his 5000-word essay on why he should stay out of Forrester’s home, the bond of friendship take hold. Through their mutual interest and as they worked on Jamal writing, they get to know each other and their friendship grows. As the friendship grows, so does the trust and respect for each other. True friendship is based on respect, trust, loyalty and the ability to accept someone for who they are – no matter what.
Loyalty is about helping your friends achieve their dreams, keeping their confidences and helping to conquer their fears. Forrester taught Jamal ‘You write the first draft with your heart, you write the second draft with your head.’ The movie shows the loyalty that developed between these two friends in many ways, such as:

  • Jamal honoured Forrester’s request not to tell anyone about him, as he didn’t want the attention from the outside world.

  • Forrester warns Jamal about Professor Crawford when he tells him ‘bitterly disappointed teachers can be either very effective or very dangerous’.

  • Forrester helps Jamal achieve his dream of writing and in the end stands up for Jamal when he is accused of plagiarism.

  • They were able to confide in each other about things that were very private and personal.

  • Jamal was able to convince Forrester to achieve his dream of going to Scotland.

Jamal feels many forms of discrimination throughout the movie. While in school he does not perform to the best of his abilities because of the peer pressure he would face. He is not sure how to take Forrester after he makes, what Jamal feels is, a remark about him being black. As Jamal starts at Mailor School it is evident he is a minority at this exclusive school. Jamal’s professor was extremely discriminatory towards him in many ways. He looked at Jamal and thought he was just another ‘basketball player from the Bronx’ who received a scholarship. Later he accused Jamal of plagiarism as he didn’t believe a kid from his ‘background’ could write as well as he did.

This movie teaches us you can’t always judge people by how they look, what they do or whether they are rich or poor. It shows what true friendship and loyalty means. As Forrest quotes “losing family obliges us to find our family - not always the family that is our blood but the family that can become our blood and should we have the wisdom to open our door’ and you never know if you will receive that gift of friendship.
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