CIFF Review: Won't You Be My Neighbor?

(USA) Words cannot express how much I enjoyed this movie.

According to the synopsis from the film festival website this movie “looks back on the legacy of Fred Rogers, focusing on his radically kind ideas.” While I was prepared for a documentary on a beloved childhood television show, I was not prepared for the emotions that I would feel by being transported back to my childhood.

 Speedy delivery, speedy delivery... Photo courtesy of  Facebook

Speedy delivery, speedy delivery... Photo courtesy of Facebook

This film is scheduled to be shown this summer at the Cedar Lee Theater so in an effort to avoid spoilers, I will keep this review short and focus on my take-aways from seeing this movie.

From watching this movie I was reminded how pure my childhood was and how nice it felt to have Mr. Rogers as a “friend” I could count on being around everyday after Sesame Street.  I smiled as I saw the clips from old shows, with trolley, King Friday and Lady Elaine.

 Photo courtesy of  Instagram

Photo courtesy of Instagram

I quietly sang along to the opening song, “It’s a beautiful day in this neighborhood, a beautiful day for a neighbor…” and I teared up for today’s kids and future generations who will never experience the sincerity and love that came through the television screen every day.

This movie made me so reflective and grateful for growing up as a PBS kid. It made me miss those simple days where I was only worried about starting kindergarten and learning the alphabet.

I am so grateful for this movie and so grateful to have had Mr. Rogers as my neighbor.

Black Girl in the CLE is proud to be a media partner for the Cleveland International Film Festival.