Sadly, we live in a world where it feels unsafe to keep our doors open anymore and if someone does knock, we are automatically gearing ourselves up for the fight or flight mode. Half of us probably don’t even know who are neighbours are because we are too busy to look up from playing Candy Crush to say “hi neighbour!”
I wasn’t sure what to expect. Would I just get a lot of footage from the olden days of television, mixed in with some commentary about Fred or would this director (Morgan Neville) create something that we’d all be talking about for decades to come? I cannot say enough positive things about this documentary “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” on the life of Fred Rogers, and it couldn’t have come at a more needed time in our society.
I will admit that when I was younger, I was quite terrified of Mr. Roger’s owl puppet and confused by some of his fashion choices, especially having a pink sweater in his closet. Before I’m thrown under the bus for my genuine confusion, remember I was just a little girl in the 80’s, trying to navigate the world while growing up in a rather traditional household (my room was decorated in various shades of pink, with flowery wallpaper, top to bottom) while my brother had a room filled with “manly” race cars decor. So yeah, what made sense to me then is clearly different than the present time. 🙂
Back to the review. Fred was such an incredible man on so many levels. Yes, he was a man of strong faith, which doesn’t always sit well with me because from my own personal experiences, some “believers” and ministers tend to “preach” but don’t take responsibility for their actions or have a lot of moral fiber to begin in. HOWEVER, with saying that, Fred was definitely an exception. I’m sure he would have hugged an Atheist the same way he would have embraced a Christian.
It’s hard to put into words the depth of Fred’s character and his genuine empathy for others who were so different from him. It’s really a film that you just need to fully take in and appreciate.
If for some reason, it’s difficult for you to express your emotions to someone in your life, just tell them 143. Once you watch this film, you’ll understand how powerful those numbers can be.