Won’t You Be My Neighbor? (2018)

Morgan Neville’s loving, stirring documentary on Mr. Rogers is one of the best movies I’ve seen this year. From the opening frames, the film feels just as gentle as its subject: Neville uses carefully and economically selected footage of the man himself throughout his public career, providing some basic context for who Mr. Rogers was as a person and how his personality intersected with that of his public persona, but really the movie is about his legacy and influence. It’s astounding to watch the parade of former colleagues and family speak so highly and cogently about him and how he approached early childhood psychology with utmost care and respect, and then see footage from the archived show displaying all those qualities so clearly and thoroughly. Even for folks like myself who are unfamiliar with Mr. Rogers as a media figure (I grew up in French-speaking Canada), this is an excellent and meaningful masterpiece.

Rating: ★★★★ (out of 5)

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