Even if you are not familiar with Fred Rogers, or have never seen "Mister Roger's Neighborhood," I seriously think this film deserves your attention. Even if you don't normally watch documentary films, this movie that chronicles the life of Mr Rogers and the impact he had on society is absolutely worth your time. Even if you don't think this is for you, I urge you to give it a chance, because as hyperbolic as it is for me to say, but I think "Won't You Be My Neighbor" will legitimately be good for you.
"A movie that's good for you?" You may suspiciously dismiss that claim I just made, but after watching it, I couldn't help but think this is the truth. It isn't just because of how the documentary is nicely directed or edited well to give us a strong narrative, it truly is because of who Mr Rogers was, and what he stood for, and what he meant to many people familiar with him. At one point in the movie, Fred Rogers is described to be "the second Christ," which should give you an idea on what type of person he is to many.
This documentary does go through Fred Rogers life in a somewhat chronological order, which really does help the narrative feel really palatable enough to watch, especially when compared to the stereotypical "boring" documentaries that people tend to avoid. From archival footage, to interviews with the people who knew him, plus some animated sequences that visualizes some of the themes, this documentary completely had me engaged throughout the whole thing. Add to the fact that it's already quite fascinating to see how impactful Mr Rogers was to society in ways we might not have even noticed, and we got ourselves an amazing documentary to check out.
While Mr Rogers seems like the kind and enlightened person that everybody should look up, the documentary doesn't shy away from telling us that he was not perfect. He had his personal flaws, and has opinions that many can disagree with. His humanity is what makes Fred such a compelling figure to watch, and also makes him quite relatable. There were things he said and did, that absolutely touched me emotionally, as if he was referring to me directly. How could I not admire this man?
There are people who have said that they have shed tears watching "Won't You Be My Neighbor" and I understand why. I too found myself in tears during several scenes in this documentary. Your result may vary of course, but you can see how this film moved me. In the world we live in today, still filled with so much strife and animosity toward each other, a person like Mr Rogers and the lessons he teaches are greatly needed, and that can be a powerful emotional realization to have.
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