Won’t You Be My Neighbor?
Running Time: 90min
Film Year: 2018
Category: Knight Documentary Achievement Award
Oscar-winning filmmaker Morgan Neville (20 Feet From Stardom) has a gift for illuminating underappreciated figures in popular culture. His new film focuses on Fred Rogers, the minister turned television host, who stressed values of love and acceptance.
Won’t You Be My Neighbor? will delight and surprise anyone who grew up on Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. Neville uncovers extensive behind the scenes footage dating back to the show’s nationwide debut in 1968 through Rogers death in 2003. Neville interviews key figures from the series including the black actor Francois Clemmons who kept his homosexuality hidden at a great personal cost. The film examines how Rogers took on topics of racism, homophobia, and disabilities. Over the years, he was spoofed by Eddie Murphy on Saturday Night Live and attacked by Fox News for his message that “everyone is special.”
Ultimately, the film asks: what is the legacy of Mister Rogers for our current times?
Director: Morgan Neville
Producer: Caryn Capotosto, Nicholas Ma, Morgan Neville
Cinematographer: Graham Willoughby
Editor: Jeff Malmberg, Aaron Wickenden