I had no idea before watching this film who Fred Rogers was. I’ve seen his shows, but I wasn’t aware of this film when it arrived in the cinemas overseas. Many audiences who watched this film only had praises to give out about it. After watching this film myself, I too am now in that same position. This documentary is incredible and quite possibly the best I have in some time.
For those who were not aware, Fred Rogers was a minister who had a passion for speaking into the lives of young children. When television started to become a hit in many homes, Fred saw an opportunity to use video in a very positive way. He felt that TV could be used to speak to children in their very own homes.
I was personally impressed to hear about this man’s passion for the young and his desire to input only positive and uplifting messages into young hearts. Fred would at times also discuss “the hard topics” in a way that would help children understand life better. These are topics that perhaps some parents may have avoided speaking to their children. Some of the topic Fred discussed were:
* Life and Death
* Believing you’re special just as you are
* President Assassinations
* 9/11 Attack
* Parents Splitting Up
I’m sure you would agree, any person who is willing to tackle the above topic takes serious courage, plus he did it on national
television. The results of seeing people’s lives changed forever.
Not only would Fred speak directly into the camera, but he would also use his gift of communication through the use of puppets and a well-designed studio set.
Overall, this is a documentary that has left me in silence (this is a positive thing). This is a film that brought tears to my eyes, but also gave me a considerable encouragement to do more in my life personally. Won’t You Be My Neighbour? Comes highly recommended (Even if you think it’s not your sort of film). Anyone currently in Christian Ministries or children’s work would also find this film somewhat applicable.
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Review Written by Peter Walkden