Nostalgia or fact: is your typical neighborhood not what it once was? You’ll often hear people over the age of 30 recall a time when they would leave their home in the morning and come back at dinner time. The parents didn’t know where they were and weren’t too concerned as long as the kids returned when the supper bell rang. Another common lament in America today is that we’ve lost a sense of neighborliness, that neighborhood bonds are not as strong as they once were. We’re more locked inside than ever before, on our TVs, computers, and tablets. And if we are outside, we might be walking around with our nose in our smart phones.

Well, let’s go back to a time and a man who emphasized more personal, human connections. Let’s go back to Fred Rogers and Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood.

Focus Features is touting the June release of the documentary Won’t You Be My Neighbor? with an upcoming push in April at Las Vegas’s CinemaCon.

The documentary details the creation of the show by the mild mannered but visionary Fred Rogers who sought a simple and decidedly non-flashy way to connect with children. His quiet, humble style was a staple of television for four decades, and Won’t You Be My Neighbor? shows not only how he entertained millions of adults and children with journeys to imaginary places, but also how he approached more serious subjects and social issues.

Perhaps we can’t go back to the good old days of our youth and the neighborhoods we remember, but Won’t You Be My Neighbor? might help us relive just a piece of both.

About The Author

Randy Steinberg has been a Blast film critic since 2011. He has a Master's Degree in Film/Screenwriting from Boston University. He taught screenwriting at BU from 1999-2010. In 2020, he joined the Boston Online Critics Film Association (BOFCA). Randy can be contacted at his website:

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