Charmingly soft-spoken and yet powerfully incisive expressing his profound ideals, Fred Rogers was a unique presence on television for generations. Through interviews of his family and colleagues, the life of this would-be pastor is explored as a man who found a more important calling to provide an oasis for children in a video sea of violent bombardment. That proved to be his landmark series, Mister Rogers' Neighborhood (1968), a show that could gently delve into important subjects no other children's show would have dared for that time. In doing so, Rogers experienced a career where his sweet-tempered idealism charmed and influenced the world whether it be scores of children on TV or recalcitrant authorities in government. However, that beloved personality also hid Rogers' deep self-doubts about himself and occasional misjudgments even as he proved a rock of understanding in times of tragedy for a world that did not always comprehend a man of such noble character.Written by
Kenneth Chisholm (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The documentary covers how Fred Rogers saved public television funding when on May 1, 1969, Fred Rogers stepped before the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Communication. President Richard Nixon proposed slashing funding for television programming such as Mr. Rogers' Neighbourhood. See more »
This film makes no mention of Rogers' professional period in Canada where he produced a precursor to Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, MisteRogers, for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation for several years until he decided to return to United States, while his understudy, Ernie Coombs, stayed to create an honored childrens television show of his own: Mr. Dressup. See more »
[at his piano]
Come on over a minute. I just had some ideas that I've been thinking about for quite while about modulation. It seems to me that there are different themes in life, and one of my main jobs, it seems to me, is to help, through the mass media for children, to help children through some of the difficult modulations of life.
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performed by Sugarhill Gang (as The Sugarhill Gang)
courtesy of Sugar Hill Records/Rhino Entertainment Company &
Sanctuary Records Group Ltd,, A BMG Company
by arrangement with Warner Music Group Film & TV Licensing
used with permission of Sony/ATV Songs LLC
All rights reserved. See more »
My first thought after viewing this film was: How impressive is it that a documentary which presents itself as a story about a life of a man, gets us to think more about ourselves internally than it does make us think of the life of Mr. Rogers. All I could think about was what am I doing to improve the world or improve myself? How can you love your neighbor as honestly or as devotingly as Fred Rogers? Who was it that helped me get where I am today? How do I become the best person I can be? It's these questions that make appreciate "Won't you be my neighbor?" even more every second I think about it. I would consider myself a casual viewer of the original show, only ever seeing the episodes late in its run. But it always struck me as powerful because of the earnestness and genuinity of Fred Rogers and the messages he was trying to get across. Is our world in a better place now than it was before the show? Probably not. But his message of loving yourself and loving your neighbor is something that transcends generations and ideals. I would be hard pressed to find a film that was as emotionally impactful as this in 2018. It's exactly the type of film we need at right now, when our world is at a low. Rogers truly represented the best a man could be and it's time we got back to viewing life the way he did. Love is at the root of everything, love or the lack of it. Wow, if there was ever a quote that could represent an entire population, generation, or world. That may be it.
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