This past weekend students viewed the story of Fred Rogers in the 2018 documentary “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?”. The documentary was hosted by SAC and offered excellent insight into the revered television host. The Morgan Neville film was shown in the Bultman Student Center Theater. Intertwining American history with the creation and climax of Rogers’ show presented how different the social climate was over 40 years ago. The documentary leaves the audience with an appreciation of what Mr. Rogers did and offered contemplation about the way one views themselves.
The documentary received critical acclaim, providing crucial insight into how the environment around children influences them. Fred Rogers,, who passed in 2003 at the age of 84, originally set on becoming a pastor, decided that television could potentially become a tool to teach young children about life and its lessons. His technique was radical, and his methods were simple; Fred Rogers changed and influenced a new generation, slowly coaching them on the socio-political climate of the late 60’s and early 70’s. The film offered happy moments, but there were also moments of strain and realization.
During the production of the first episode in 1968, many television executives were not considerate of the effect their programs had on young minds. This film wasn’t just created to enlighten an old television program; it was designed to illuminate that teaching young minds matter as well, and it is something that all adults have to acknowledge.
Children are moldable and, if not taken care of, can cause destructive behavior to themselves and the environment around them. The documentary provides insight on the importance of faith and how simple values can be implemented into everyday life. Fred Rogers strived to be an example of this simple philosophy. This documentary is certain to enlighten and encourage audience members of all walks of life to ponder the meaning of childhood. Often we get attached to shows and movies that represent childhood, holding a special place in our hearts, almost never realizing how those final moments create our character. Mister Rogers Neighborhood offers unique insight on what children need to hear to grow and learn; we all could learn something from Mister Rogers.