My eyes misted up a couple times while watching Won’t You Be My Neighbor? This wonderful documentary captures the essence of Fred Roger’s magic in reaching out to children and helping them deal with Reality. When Bobby Kennedy was assassinated, Fred Rogers addressed the issue. Later, Rogers produced theme weeks on topics like divorce, war, violence, and death. He never talked down to kids. He never sugar-coated his messages. Fred Rogers was a visionary. And, back in 1969, Fred Rogers saved the Public Broadcasting System with a stellar performance at a Congressional hearing (another highlight of this documentary). Right-wing commentators attacked Fred Rogers and his philosophies. He was accused of being a homosexual (he wasn’t). His belief that all children are special became the “gateway” for creating “snowflakes” according to conservatives. Despite these savage assaults, Fred Rogers continued to help children and promote his message of love and kindness in a hostile world. If you go to Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, bring some Kleenex. GRADE: A

11 thoughts on “WON’T YOU BE MY NEIGHBOR?

  1. Steve Oerkfitz

    I’ll wait until it shows up on PBS or cable. Mr. Rogers came along after my childhood and my kids never seem to have watched him although they loved Sesame Street.
    It has been getting great reviews.

  2. Jeff Meyerson

    Congress has pretty much sucked all the time, so an attack on Mr. Rogers is hardly surprising. I’ll see this eventually on television. He was after my time but I can appreciate his virtues, which we could use today.

    1. george Post author

      Jeff, Fred Rogers was ahead of his time. He sensed that young children were in crisis and he tried to do something about it. Now, right-wingers vilify him.

  3. Deb

    Of course he’s vilified because the right! Things like feelings, acceptance, and self-worth have no place when you’re trying the cultivate an angry knee-jerk voter base. I was fortunate enough to be a stay-at-home mom when my youngest kids were little. Mr. Rogers was their pre-nap time tv show. It was amazing how much insight he had into the fears and concerns of preschoolers—and how good he was at soothing them.


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