When Won't You Be My Neighbor? premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, the film's director described the film as therapy. One wonders what the film's subject, Fred Rogers, would have made of the world today. Certainly the film seems to have acted as a soothing balm for American audiences, offering a respite from the craziness of the era of the 45th president. Certainly the film has proved an indie hit in
The documentary acts as an interesting biopic of a figure I barely knew, someone who had only really reached my cultural diet through parodies on Family Guy (he has periodically been a figure of fun on that particular show). Won't You Be My Neighbor? chronicles
Director Morgan Neville, who achieved Oscar glory with 20 Feet from Stardom, provides the documentary with a respectful, gentle tone. He doesn't shy away from the easily-mockable nature of Fred Rogers, with footage of parodies included, but seeks to present him as a figure ingrained in
Won't You Be My Neighbor? is a charming curiosity, one that successful plucks at the viewer's heart strings. And yet the film feels very much a product for Americans. I'm not sure of the appeal this film will have outside of the
This is a London Film Festival preview, and Won't You Be My Neighbor? will be released on the 9th November 2018.