"Won't You Be My Neighbor" (copy)

Fred Rogers of "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood"

For those who've found the last few weeks an emotional wringer with the controversy over border child separations, a partial balm may come in two documentaries opening Friday in Waco.

"Won't You Be My Neighbor" takes a look at the life and work of children's television icon Fred Rogers, creator and host of "Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood." Rogers saw his work in addressing the needs of children his Christian calling and in a medium that often saw them as little more than an advertising demographic to push products.

Rogers respected his younger listeners and tuned adult issues encountered in their world, such as divorce or violence, to their emotional and conceptual levels. It's a comment on our world that this now sounds somewhat counter-cultural and, I suppose, it is.

Another exemplar of the humane is Pope Francis, whose documentary portrait by director Wim Wenders, "Pope Francis: A Man Of His Word," arrives in Waco this week. Wenders' film interviews the pontiff at length, allowing him to speak on world problems and what the church should do to address them.

It opens at a place most don't think of for first-run movies, Waco's Premiere Cinemas 6 discount movie house. "Won't You Be My Neighbor" opens at AMC Classic Galaxy 16.

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