“Won’t You Be My Neighbor,” Illuminates Fred Rogers’ Lasting Impact

Courtesy of Focus Features
Courtesy of Focus Features

Won’t You Be My Neighbor? A beautiful tribute to an exceptional person.

Won’t You Be My Neighbor? is a documentary about Fred Rogers, better known as Mister Rogers. The film discusses the impact of his television show, what he was like as a person, and the everlasting effect on everyone he met, especially children. The filmmakers did an impressive job using raw footage, intercut with TV clips, old interviews, and new interviews from people close to Mister Rogers, leaving the audience with an overwhelming understanding of what an important person Rogers was.

One of my fondest memories of when I was younger was going to my Grandma’s house and watching reruns of Mister Rogers’ TV show, Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. I remember loving the show and especially loving Mister Rogers. The show itself was directed towards children, but all of the messages were universal. He was not afraid to tackle tough conversations such as death, divorce, or even 9/11. What this film did, that the show could not do, was show what Mister Rogers was like apart from his TV show. It turns out he was always the same. Whether on TV or in an interview or with his family, he has cared foremost about children.

Courtesy of Focus Features
Courtesy of Focus Features

The filmmakers interviewed the people closest to Fred Rogers, including his wife, his children, actors who were on the show, and his close friend, Yo-Yo Ma. These interviews were a great look into the life of Mister Rogers. From his wife sharing Mister Rogers’ personal struggles to his kids talking about what it was like being the children of “the second Christ,” you get to know Rogers deeper than the TV show. The film illuminates how Fred Rogers had a lasting impact on each person he ever encountered.

This film is so important because it brings light to a small part of history that should never be forgotten. He made the world a better place, and we need him today in the divided world we are living in. It is critical for everyone to see this film because, although Mister Rogers is no longer here, his legacy lives on. People can learn the valuable lessons he taught, which can help make a difference in our world today.

 

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