My expectations for movies with a message—especially a message of which I approve—are low. Message flicks of any bent too often succumb to tedious repetition of simplistic morals, and libertarian types are not heavily represented among the best filmmakers. This is why I was surprised by the new movie Miss Virginia, which I just saw at a preview screening. It tells the story of Virginia Walden Ford—whom, full disclosure, I know—and her crusade to create the District of Columbia Opportunity Scholarship Program, better known, simply, as the DC voucher program. The movie does not preach, it lets Walden Ford’s real-life story sear in its moral: parents need choice, and children cannot wait.
Miss Virginia takes place in early 2000s Washington, especially the long-depressed southeast section, and depicts the struggles of Walden Ford and other families. In neighborhoods beset by poverty, crime, and drug addiction, the public schools are rendered inhospitable to learning, and sometimes outright dangerous. When things turn especially threatening for her son, Walden Ford toils desperately to get him into a private school and keep him there. But though it costs much less than the public schools spend per pupil, she fails. And the battle for choice begins. READ MORE