Miss Virginia begins when Virginia discovers that her son James (Niles Fitch) is skipping school. She gets an idea of how dangerous and dysfunctional public schools are. She realizes that her son learns nothing and is afraid to go to school.
She enrols him in a private school. He likes it. He’s thriving. But Virginia can’t afford $7,000 in tuition. She needs a scholarship, but she’s not.
She’s trying to make more money by working part-time in the office of Aunjanue Ellis, a politician who claims to be committed to improving children’s education in Washington.
She soon realizes that her salary supplement is pathetically low, and Lorraine Townsend doesn’t really do what she says she does.
Then she turns to Congressman Williams (Matthew Modin), who has set up a program in her home state to provide scholarships to children in need. He tells her that D.C. is not a federal state and that any change in the city’s education programs requires an act of Congress in the right sense.
Miss Virginia begins collecting signatures for the petition. Through the suburbs and early days, and with the help of other parents, especially a very effective person, Shonde (Amira Vann), begins a movement.
They deliver the petitions. They get thousands of signatures. Nervous Virginia makes speeches. They walk. They gather a crowd. At the end of the day, they’re heard. Congressman Williams is drafting a scholarship law and he’s coming to a vote.
On election day the protesters sit behind bars, the children of the public school watch S-Span during the vote and Lorraine Townsend is happy because she thinks the vote will be won.
You know that, of course, because a film based on a true story is always a victory over the chance of a law being passed. Since that day, thousands of children in D.C. have benefited from the work that Virginia Walden and her neighbors started.
Ouzo Aduba is great at everything she does. She is very effective in showing the frustration, pain, and slow growth of this single mother who is taking over and winning over the U.S. government. The story is told with enthusiasm and many human moments that show how desperate parents are to give their children a better chance. I urge you to watch it.
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