What are the chances you’re sitting at a friend’s house for a party and you end up chatting with the mom of Caryn Capotosto, one of the producers of Won’t You Be My Neighbor? Pretty slim, but it happened to me a couple of months ago!
I have always been a fan of Fred Rogers. One of the kindest men in the history of television, Mister Rogers showed us what tolerance meant before it was a buzzword.
Addressing topics that people were a little afraid to discuss, even as adults, Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood showed our children what it meant to treat others with respect, regardless of our differences.
From Focus Features: For over thirty years, Fred Rogers, an unassuming minister, puppeteer, writer and producer was beamed daily into homes across America. In his beloved television program, Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, Fred and his cast of puppets and friends spoke directly to young children about some of life’s weightiest issues, in a simple, direct fashion. There hadn’t been anything like Mr. Rogers on television before and there hasn’t been since.
Though he may be best known today as a soft-spoken, cardigan-wearing children’s television host, in reality, Fred Rogers’ career represents a sustained attempt to present a coherent, beneficent view about how we should best speak to children about important matters and how television could be used as a positive force in our society.
In Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, Academy Award-winning filmmaker Morgan Neville (Twenty Feet from Stardom) looks back on the legacy of Fred Rogers, focusing on his radically kind ideas. While the nation changed around him, Fred Rogers stood firm in his beliefs about the importance of protecting childhood. Neville pays tribute to this legacy with the latest in his series of highly engaging, moving documentary portraits of essential American artists.
The film is produced by Caryn Capotosto and Nicholas Ma. I can’t wait to see Won’t You Be My Neighbor? Who knows? Maybe it will make an impact, even today. We need kindness more than ever. Take a look at the trailer:
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