Won't You Be My Neighbor?

Director: Morgan Neville
Year Released: 2018
Rating: 3.5

A splendid and deeply touching overview of the life and career of television entertainer (and minister!) Fred Rogers, who used his television show Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood to speak to children about things going on in the world, and maybe in their own families, using language they understood. I'll admit it now: I grew up watching Mr. Rogers, and looked forward to seeing him every weekday - there were songs and puppets and the soothing voice of a kind man who explained things clearly and with a sympathetic voice (I still have many of those songs memorized). Neville tries to dig and find something about his subject that was unsavory - he even addresses (a.) whether Rogers was a homosexual and (b.) whether he was a Navy SEAL (!?) - but no, we really did have someone that special and caring in our presence with no ulterior motives and a wellspring of genuine compassion. As several people note, he was so soft and warm it makes him look almost alien - in this post-9/11 world, with the likes of Emperor Trump talking about building a Wall between the U.S. and Mexico and ripping families apart and all the hate-mongering on social media, anyone that advocates love and compassion above all else would probably be laughed off the screen ... but he came at the right time, and his message shouldn't be forgotten. 143 ... Forever.