Focus Features has debuted the first Won’t You Be My Neighbor? clip. The documentary is set to make its world premiere at Sundance, and it focuses on Fred Rogers and his groundbreaking TV series. In this clip, we see the explanation of how everything on Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood should have set the series up for failure, and yet it all managed to work thanks to the inherent decency and power of Fred Rogers’ message.
Documentaries like this are essential at Sundance where, after days of seeing dark and gritty indies, you could just use something nice and uplifting. Additionally, director Morgan Neville made a splash at Sundance a few years ago when he debuted the terrific 20 Feet from Stardom, and I’m excited to see his follow-up feature. I assume the documentary will also tackle some of the more outlandish Fred Rogers urban legends like “He wore sweaters to cover up all his tattoos,” and “He killed dozens of people in the Vietnam War.” I assume those urban legends exist because it’s too much for us to wrap our heads around, “A nice man created a nice TV show about the importance of being nice.”
Check out the Won’t You Be My Neighbor? clip below, and look for our review out of Sundance early next week. Won’t You Be My Neighbor? hits theaters on June 8th.
Here’s the official synopsis for Won’t You Be My Neighbor?:
From Academy Award-winning filmmaker Morgan Neville (20 Feet from Stardom), Won’t You Be My Neighbor? takes an intimate look at America’s favorite neighbor: Mister Fred Rogers. A portrait of a man whom we all think we know, this emotional and moving film takes us beyond the zip-up cardigans and the land of make-believe, and into the heart of a creative genius who inspired generations of children with compassion and limitless imagination.