best documentary 2018

Short Review of Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

won't you be my neighbor

Before I tell you about my reaction to the documentary movie, Won’t You Be My Neighbor, you should know I did not want to see this movie. OK, I am a person who admits when she is wrong. Fortunately, it’s not very often, but when it happens, I own it. When my husband suggested we go to Tower Theatre in Land Park to see Won’t You Be My Neighbor, I ridiculed that idea. Just like I did when my friend and team member Barbara Dow bought a RING for her door.

I asked her how can anybody be so lazy that they can’t bother to get up off the sofa to see who is at the door? What have we come to in America? It’s because I had a completely different idea about how a person would use the RING, and now I have one on our house in Hawaii. Eat my words. Main drawback with the RING is it runs out of juice. But the company made a RING solar charger for its original model (not yet available for 2nd generation), so that problem is now resolved. Providing I can get the stripped screw out of it, which I’m working on tomorrow.

Along with uploading photos to put a new listing on the market in Citrus Heights. First, I’ve got to make my new listing live in MLS, and then I’ll work on the RING. Priorities.

But I digress. I arrived at our house in Hawaii yesterday. On the plane, I’ve already watched most of the movies on Hawaiian Airlines’ entertainment iPad, so I picked Won’t You Be My Neighbor for lack of options. Holy crap. It is pretty emotional. Why is that woman in seat 2A sobbing her eyes out? Other passengers looked the other way. Sniffling and deep breaths. Honestly, I’ve never watched Mister Rogers Neighborhood, barely even knew who Fred Rogers was.

Fred Rogers had a goal, a mission, and he wanted to work with children. To help them become better people. Oh, media said he lied to kids and it’s his fault whiny-ass kids grew up with an absurd feeling of entitlement, but that was not true. He simply wanted to help children grow into loving, caring and responsible adults. It was very clear from the documentary that he possessed a great sense of humor, was extremely kind, very stable, measured and calm. That’s just who he was. A genuinely authentic person.

He seemed to surround himself by genuine and authentic people such as family and friends. When I watched him go before Congress when Nixon was in office, it was extremely moving. Congress was ready to cut funding for educational television. It was a done deal. However, after Fred Rogers spoke from his heart, calmly and collectively, explaining why his show is important, they gave him $20,000 to continue.

He was super talented. He could sing. Play piano. He wrote all the music for the show, the scripts and created all of the characters, including voicing the puppets.

There were also a few scenes that still resonate with me today, yet watching them happen also brought on the tears. Like the Challenger. Bobby Kennedy. How do you explain what happened to children? But Fred Rogers could do it.

With so much hatred, anger and hostility in the world today, if you would like a reason to feel good about humankind, this movie will do it for you. It’s out on DVD and BluRay. I give Won’t You Be My Neighbor 2 thumbs, all my fingers and all 10 toes up. Heck, I’d throw in the paw of endorsement from our 3 cats as well. I should have a graphic for this. Sorry, I do not.

Elizabeth Weintraub

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