To date in our Resilience Film Series we’ve screened some Best Picture Oscar-winners, touching coming-of-age comedies, and inspiring documentaries like Resilience and Time for Ilhan.

Fred Rogers–television’s Mr. Rogers–and a child excited to see him.

We have one more excellent documentary to share this coming Saturday at 7 pm in Miller Auditorium (Stark 103): the highly-acclaimed Won’t You Be My Neighbor?  The film is rated PG-13 for some thematic elements and language. Directed by Morgan Neville and distributed by Focus Features, the film was a breakout hit this summer, despite appearing only in select theaters and grossing over $22 million in its theatrical run.  But more than just a hit documentary, Won’t You Be My Neighbor? features as its subject the most resilient public figure any of us can name: Fred Rogers of televisions’s famed and long-running Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.

With Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, Fred Rogers dedicated his life to teach children from all walks of life that they are special and deserving of love, friendship, and companionship. His teachings have been controversial at times ranging from topics such as death, relationships, assassinations, and every facet of humanity. Rogers believed that children’s questions should never go unanswered and he provided ways of keeping children entertained as well as informed. This documentary will challenge what you “thought” you knew about the gently-singing, cardigan-wearing, soft-spoken, smiling persona so many of us grew up with.

Viewers will be treated to admission behind the scenes of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. We’ll take a walk together in Mister Rogers’ neighborhood alongside our favorite puppet pals and meet the guests that have appeared on his show. The creation of the sets, memorable moments, and some controversy have given its founder, Fred Rogers, some unique opportunities to teach resilience to children throughout his career.

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Director Morgan Neville of Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

Morgan Neville, a veteran documentary filmmaker, is best known for producing and directing 20 Feet from Stardom (2013) and Best of Enemies: Buckley vs. Vidal (2015), both of which were highly-acclaimed and award-winning films.

Winona State Film Studies students saw Won’t You Be My Neighbor? at the Mountainfilm Film Festival in Telluride Colorado this year.  Their responses include…

  • “It hit me right in the feels.” – Kyra Beske
  • “It is probably one of the best documentaries I’ve seen.” – Ben Glomski
  • “I was excited when I saw it was in the programming and it blew my expectations away.” – Seth Lamey
  • “It was great, very heartwarming and personal.” – Taylor Nasinec

Please join us in a free admission viewing of Won’t You Be My Neighbor Saturday October 27th at 7pm in the Miller Auditorium (Stark Hall 103). This special event will features guest speakers and a brand-new character! We hope to see you there!