“Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” is the brand new documentary directed by Morgan Neville. It documents the life of Fred Rogers who was the host and creator of the well-known children’s show Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. This documentary has been getting incredible reviews as it currently has a 99% on Rotten Tomatoes. So here’s my two cents on this new documentary.
Before getting into this review, it is worth saying that this movie doesn’t have a wide release as it is only in select theaters. So if you want to see this, you may have to travel a decent distance. With that out of the way, Won’t You Be My Neighbor? is one of the best documentaries I have ever seen in my life. I don’t know at what part you will cry during this, but you will at some point. Here’s the trailer below to give you a general play by play of the documentary.
Now being 25 years old, I vaguely remember Mr. Rogers when I was a kid. He passed away when I was 9 so I didn’t grow up on him like my parents did. But when I saw the trailer, I really wanted to see it. Like I said earlier, I’m glad I did because it was amazing in the best way possible. As you see in the documentary, Mr. Rogers was different because he didn’t shy away from major social issues on a kids show. He talked about death and divorce on a kid’s show and he didn’t dumb it down for kids. He understood kids, like adults, had feelings towards issues that are complex and he didn’t shy away from that. There is no way that would happen today considering everything is now based off TV Ratings and not the quality of content.
But what this documentary showed me and what I think its message is that Mr. Rogers (the character) and Fred Rogers (the man) show just how good humanity can be. We live in very divisive times that are fueled by hate. But Fred Rogers was someone who believed in everyone and loved people for who they were. That’s something we don’t have enough of these days, especially coming from our current President. I can’t recommend this documentary enough because you’ll have a great time and you’ll be a better person for it. How many documentaries can say that?
Steve Santoro (SVS_1993)