Let’s visit the neighborhood.

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I didn’t grow up watching Fred Rogers, but I have always respected his mission to teach children that we all have inherent value. I was hesitant to watch a documentary about a man I know little about, but this is one of the better documentaries I have seen.

Fred Rogers interest in television seemed odd to those who knew him because he didn’t care much for the medium. He saw much of what was given to kids was loud, stupid, and shallow (and I don’t disagree). His role became that of someone who took children seriously and believed that children can feel and think deeply.

Rogers programming represented a type of Christianity that seems entirely absent today. The sanctity and worth of human life is at the center of his philosophy and he worked everyday to make sure this message was given as widely as possible.

Fans of the show will be visiting an old friend. Newcomers (like me) will get a look into one of the kindest minds we have ever had. Overall, the film is simply enjoyable to watch.

How anyone could hate Fred Rogers is sort of beyond me. However, the documentary does go into some of the backlash against Rogers and his message that people have inherent value. Oddly, the vitriol is more recent and didn’t seem as harsh when Rogers made a point about the equality of African Americans. Clips of Fox News stating that Rogers is “an evil, evil man” are quite stunning to see. Humorously, conservatives took chagrin to this and claimed the film has a liberal bias—you know, instead of addressing the ridiculous statements.

It is sad that someone saying people have worth draws a network’s anger more than a man who admits to sexual assault. If you read that last statement as somehow politically biased, I think considering the implications of your position might be useful. Maybe we would all do well to visit Mr. Roger’s neighborhood.

2 thoughts on “Won’t You Be My Neighbor? (2018) Film Review

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