The Dallas Movie Screening Group

This is the homepage of the Dallas Movie Screening Group. To join our mailing list you must sign up at our group page on Yahoo. You will then be connected to receive notices on how to find passes to the local screenings in the DFW area. It's up to you to pickup or sign up for passes. You can also barter, trade or just giveaway passes you don't want, need or share with other members of the group. Please read the instructions on the Yahoo page very carefully before posting. This group is closely moderated so that your mail box is not full of spam or other unnecessary mail. We appreciate everyone's consideration and cooperation.

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Monday, May 7, 2018

DIFF2018 - Won't You Be My Neighbor?

If you have ever wanted to get to know Mr. Rogers behind the scenes, to learn what motivated him and made his tick, this film is a chance to peek into the heart that beat under his famous cardigan sweater. All in all, strap in for a warm, fuzzy but highly emotional experience. There are not to many human beings like the man who created programming for children that met children exactly where they lived, reaffirmed their worth and value and often told them the words that their parents were not, enabling them to feel more confident in exploring their world.

The documentary tells the story of the minister turned early childhood educator/educational television advocate who touched so very many lives from the 1960’s through the 90’s. It was always Roger’s goal to help children understand place, belonging and inherent worth within a community. While he was a minister, he was first and foremost a cheerleader for the children. Director Morgan Neville explores the rise of the show “Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood” and shows how it was used to tackle tough world issues, such as political assassination, war, death, racism and terrorism, and break them down for children in an understandable way. It was broadcast live and on a very limited budget with a very simplistic set, with the use of puppets most of whom were voiced by Rogers himself. It was shown that the players had to improvise at times.

It is no secret that from a child developmental standpoint, most TV programming for children is garbage. He wanted to promote peace, love, fairness and community. Fast paced and full of too much or inappropriate stimulation, Fred Rogers sought to slow things down and embrace the occasional silence for children. A non violent, non threatening place for children to meet daily with friends who accepted them. It is often said that the kindest, most compassionate people have come from a history of pain, estrangement or inner struggle and Mr. Rogers was no different. Born into affluence, he nevertheless felt different than others and thankfully for the rest of the world, he truly was. His family members offer commentary on what it was like to be married to and parented by Fred.

People who worked with him over the years, some quite famous, are brought in to add their observations and experiences,and add to the colorful picture being painted of a very unique and gifted human being. His famous testimony before Congress to help keep the government front cutting the public broadcasting budget by millions is a speech to behold and is included. Bring tissues if he was a part of your life and even if he wasn’t. He gives everyone tools to help them move about the world and one cannot help but feel that if everyone adopted and used them, the world would be a wonderful place. For him to acknowledge and address that children had very real feelings and that they needed tending to in a deliberate and serious way was an innovation in the sixties in the era of Dr. Spock’s child rearing writings. Thankfully Mr. Rogers walked among us and left us a most amazing legacy. This is one documentary worth seeking out and enjoying with a neighbor or two.
(Review by Cheryl Wurtz)

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