Won't You Be My Neighbor? (2018)
- Summaries (4)
An exploration of the life, lessons, and legacy of iconic children's television host, Fred Rogers.
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, MisteRogers' 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.
"This documentary paints a portrait of the philosophy and work of cardigan-wearing children's entertainer Fred Rogers, star of the popular show "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood." A former minister, Mister Rogers creatively communicated themes of empathy and acceptance using a colorful cast of puppets and friends for more than 30 years. Along with archival footage, Rogers' contemporaries and cast-mates reflect on his legacy.
Fred Rogers hated television. When he talks about his first encounter with the still-infant medium, he doesn't hide his disdain: "They were throwing pies at each other," he says. Over the next several decades, they'd throw a lot more than pies. Characters would throw insults and expletives, punches and grenades. In all his years working inside the medium that so horrified him, he never succeeded making it much better..
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