Renew Radar: WON’T YOU BE MY NEIGHBOR?

Renew Radar is a recurring feature that highlights some of the titles you may see on our screen in the coming months. We may not get to all of the featured films, but these are the movies on our radar.

Behind-the-scenes with Fred Rogers. (Photo: Focus Features)

Whether or not you or your children grew up watching “Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood,” it’s undeniable the soft-spoken impact Fred Rogers had on television and culture. From 1968 to 2001, Mr. Rogers taught children about sometimes difficult topics like kindness, pain, death, and friendship. In his own quiet way, Fred Rogers revolutionized programming for children and taught invaluable lessons to several generations of kids. Still though, the man behind the iconic TV show seemed like an enigma.

A new documentary Won’t You Be My Neighbor looks at the career and impact of Fred Rogers through interviews and archival footage. Directed by Morgan Neville, who won an Oscar for his documentary 20 Feet From Stardom, perfectly reflects the patient and thoughtful temperament of his subject. One of the most remarkable aspects of the film is the genuine kindness and generosity that Rogers typified on- and off-screen.

While it may seem that Fred Rogers was almost too good to be true, the documentary confirms that he was the shining beacon he portrayed on screen and celebrates the life of a truly compassionate individual. Won’t You be My Neighbor? is an emotional experience because it reminds us of the important message Fred Rogers was teaching and proves that his relevancy extends beyond his television show. Bring your tissues.

Won’t You Be My Neighbor? opens on Friday, June 22.