Won't You Be My Neighbor? (2018)
June 11, 2018 9:54 AM - Subscribe

Won't You Be My Neighbor? takes a fittingly patient and honest look at the life and legacy of a television pioneer whose work has enriched generations.

For over thirty years, Fred Rogers, an unassuming minister, puppeteer, writer and producer was beamed daily into homes across America. In his beloved television program, Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, Fred and his cast of puppets and friends spoke directly to young children about some of life’s weightiest issues, in a simple, direct fashion. There hadn’t been anything like Mr. Rogers on television before and there hasn’t been since.

Though he may be best known today as a soft-spoken, cardigan-wearing children’s television host, in reality, Fred Rogers’ career represents a sustained attempt to present a coherent, beneficent view about how we should best speak to children about important matters and how television could be used as a positive force in our society.

In Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, Academy Award-winning filmmaker Morgan Neville (Twenty Feet from Stardom) looks back on the legacy of Fred Rogers, focusing on his radically kind ideas. While the nation changed around him, Fred Rogers stood firm in his beliefs about the importance of protecting childhood. Neville pays tribute to this legacy with the latest in his series of highly engaging, moving documentary portraits of essential American artists.
posted by seemoorglass (5 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
This is the only movie I've seen so far in 2018 that I would consider paying full price to watch again in theaters. I laughed, I cried, I was inspired to be a better version of myself, and I learned a lot about Fred Rogers and the depth of his commitment to children's well being. I couldn't recommend this more highly!
posted by seemoorglass at 10:04 AM on June 11 [3 favorites]

I'm planning on seeing this soon...Given the size of the lump in my throat during the trailer, someone's probably going to have to carry me out of the theater in a bucket.
posted by doctornecessiter at 11:44 AM on June 11 [2 favorites]

I've been trying to figure out how we can convince the Academy to just call it right now and announce that the Oscar for Best Documentary for this year is going to this film because come on, we all already know that's what's going to happen.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:11 PM on June 11 [3 favorites]

This is the exact moment my mind was blown in the film - when a staffer at the Fred Rogers Institute said:

"I hear people asking themselves 'what would Mr. Rogers do?' But that's the wrong question. They should be asking: 'What can I do?' "
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:59 AM on June 16 [2 favorites]

Watching him testify in front of the Congressional hearing at a time when public television was on the brink of having its funding snuffed out so early in its life was really compelling for me. Among many, many moving moments in that film, I think that one will stand out forever to me.
posted by MoonOrb at 5:06 PM on June 30 [2 favorites]

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