The film “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” follows the political life of a (fictitious) U.S. Senator Jefferson Smith. Mr. Smith is handpicked to replace a senator who has passed away, because political cronies believe he’ll take orders and not think for himself. To avoid spoilers, I’ll leave it at that. What’s remarkable about this movie is, that while it’s very entertaining, it also serves as an excellent civics lesson.
The film teaches what happens when a new Senator is elected or appointed, how a bill becomes law, the duties of the President of the Senate, what it means to filibuster, the proper decorum in the Senate Chamber, including how seating is arranged; and the impact fake news can have on day-to-day lives. It also treats the viewer to a tour of many of Washington D.C.’s landmarks. It’s a must-see.