"Won't You Be My Neighbor" is a riveting and deeply personal look at the life of the beloved Fred Rogers. I grew up watching "Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood," and if Cosby was "America's Dad," then Fred was surely "America's Uncle."
After seeing this documentary, I realize that there was much more depth to the show on a sociological level than I ever realized. My only complaint is that the film focuses solely on Rogers and his show. And though it features plenty of interviews from Fred's family and surviving cast members, you don't get to know much about them. Also, plenty of show clips with Betty Aberlin, but no interviews clips with her.
Be warned, there are a couple brief clips of Mr. Rogers angry at the state of affairs in America as it relates to children, and his gaze as he stares into the camera with his thoughts is chilling.
Great documentary overall, and it will be in my collection as soon as it comes out on DVD.
I was lucky enough to watch this show in the 90s when my son was little and I was running a childcare facility with my first wife in the Seattle area. So different from all the other children's shows, so quaint and old fashioned, yet children responded so positively to it, and Fred would say things that would stay with you. It wasn't until much later that I found out more about him. He pretty much saved public television. An accomplished musician too.
I just saw it this afternoon. Very touching. Fred Rogers was the religious Republican that the current crowd wishes they could be, but they are just too mean. He preached inclusion and finding the good in everyone. The end was poignant about how he would deal with today's world. At the end, they showed the people protesting his tolerance of gay people at his memorial. People intolerant of his tolerance. No Fred, you wouldn't like today's world. Thanks for trying.
I saw it last week. It's a wonderful film. My favorite clip was when Mr. Rogers spoke about public television and took down Congress. I also was wondering why Betty Aberlin wasn't interviewed. I Googled her and she's still alive, she's 75 and lives in NYC. She even has a Twitter account which is current.