I will admit two things before I go into the answer for the day. I probably would not have seen this movie without Moviepass. If it weren’t for going to three doctor’s appointments in one day, thus having the day off, I probably would not have the opportunity to go see this movie. And a third reason I saw the film was a theater near me was FINALLY playing the film. The annoying part of going to the movies these days is that most theaters do not want to keep independent features in there very long. For instance I wanted to see Tully in theaters and the theater nearest to me showing the film only showed the film for one week. I went to see other films thinking that they had been in the theater for a while and would leave before Tully, but not so much. I am glad I was able to go see Mister Roger’s work his magic on the big screen today though. I was afforded this luxury that reminded me why we need more people like Fred Roger’s in our lives.
Day 16: The last movie you saw in theaters – Won’t You Be My Neighbor?
Documentaries have always fascinated me. I enjoy getting to see the side of a person or an event that I was not around to personally witness. Yesterday I had the pleasure of learning a lot about Fred Rogers, who most people know as Mister Rogers from Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. For instance I did not know that he went to seminary school. Looking back on his show yesterday I can see that fact now, but I appreciate it even more than I would have when I was younger. This film focused on a man who does not push his faith, but merely uses it at a common ground to teach life lessons to those around him. He was a man who truly wanted to help children understand the world around them. He was a man who was inherently good. The entire time I was reminded of how much I yearn for more people like that in the world today. A person who doesn’t judge and tolerates everything and everyone.
This does not mean that Fred Rogers was a perfect man, but the film does not show him in such a light. The feature reveals flaws. Those around him reveal some of those flaws along the way. They not only reveal a man that had flaws, but one that strove to do better, strove to be better. He wanted us all to take a look at ourselves and realize even if we did not become a doctor or a lawyer we were still special. Maybe that is why I was absolutely dumbfounded to view the part where people were blaming Fred Rogers for a generation of people who believed they were special. That was why we became entitled. No. I honestly do not believe this. I love that he took the time to explain himself at a commencement speech he gave, but that made me sad as well. Why should he have to explain a message that at its core is a good one? Why do we have to take something so pure of heart and make it something ill conceived?
Ultimately, that is why I was so upset to find out that there were people picketing his funeral. Then again, I am always upset to hear this or read about it in the news. The worst part, as someone in the movie pointed out, is seeing a younger generation taught that same hatred. What the film truly taught me, and reminded me, was that in a world full of hate we always had that one person who inspired us. That one person who was always there and shaped us into the person that we are today. We still need to be told every now and then that we are special. We need to believe that people are inherently good. We need to believe that we can do good in the world and bring goodness to those around us. We need to believe that we can love our neighbor. As a nation we really need to focus on what it means to be a neighbor to everyone and why that is more important now than ever.