Don Schwartz Spotlight on Documentaries
Welcome to the Blog of actor/journalist/personal historian Don Schwartz.
Don has been published in a variety of publications since 1977. His book, Telling Their Own Stories: Conversations with Documentary Filmmakers, is available from Amazon in softback or Kindle edition.
Don holds multiple degrees, including a Ph.D. in psychology and counseling from the California Institute of Integral Studies.
Don is a regular guest on our web radio show, The Art of Film Funding, produced by From the Heart Productions, reviewing documentary films with founder Carole Dean—http://www.blogtalkradio.com/the-art-of-film-funding
Don also contributes film reviews and filmmaker profiles to CineSource Magazine online—www.CineSourceMagazine.com
His weekly film review appears in The Marin Post—https://marinpost.org/
You can access Don’s Personal Historian services at:
March 20th, 2017
Written and directed by Jeffrey C. Bell, Sons of Ben
tells the story of how a small group of seemingly ordinary guys calling themselves ‘Sons of Ben’ worked tirelessly for years to secure a Major League Soccer team to the Philadelphia region—the stadium is in Chester, Pennsylvania. (The ‘Ben’ refers to that Franklin dude.)
The 75 minute film is short for the scope of this story which documents something very big ...Read More
March 19th, 2017
That’s one of the statements made by a Dartmouth student about her experience participating in a unique program created by Dartmouth Professor Pati Hernandez
The summer program brings female students together with incarcerated females to produce a play based on the experiences of the prisoners. This year’s program—covered by Signe Taylor in ...Read More
March 16th, 2017
An American Conscience
is an hour-long documentary introducing the work and—especially—person of theologian Reinhold Niebuhr
. The inspiration for this documentary is both the power and impact of Neibuhr’s expressions, and the filmmaker’s intention to expand awareness of this Protestant minister’s influence on 20...Read More
March 5th, 2017
From the film’s website:
“On August 1st, 1966, a sniper rode the elevator to the top floor of the University of Texas Tower and opened fire, holding the campus hostage for 96 minutes. When the gunshots were finally silenced, the toll included 16 dead, three dozen wounded, and a shaken nation left trying to understand.”
Keith Maitland’s Tower
tells stories of those who survived, died, and saved. It does so by intricately w ...Read More
March 4th, 2017
Moving from Emptiness
profiles Alok Hsu Kwang-han
who is called a ‘Zen calligraphic painter.’ The phrase is way too small. He is a teacher of Zen Buddhism, an artist, and workshop leader. But those words do not come close to capturing who he really is.
Filmmakers Jerry Hartleben and Shaeri Richa ...Read More
February 28th, 2017
(n): an unrecognized profession where pain and gain are mutually exclusive.
There are a fount of adjectives to describe college sports in the United States of America: Unjust, Immoral, Unethical, Dangerous, Risky, Unhealthy, Tragic—and having just viewed Bob DeMars The Business of Amateurs
—add the noun, Travesty.
There has been no want of news re ...Read More
February 20th, 2017
If you’re an extremely talented, massively prolific, and commercially successful artist like Derek Hess, you want your documentarian to do justice to yourself and your work—to mirror the passion and dedication and authenticity you bring to your work, and consequently, to those who view it.
That’s just what director/editor Nick Cavalier has done for Cleveland-based Hess with his film, Forced Perspective...Read More
February 20th, 2017
‘In May 2011,’ the film begins, ‘John Casablancas met his friend Hupert Woroniecki in New York City. They spent three days locked in a studio and recorded his life story. What neither knew at the time was that John would die of cancer two years later, in 2013—making this recording a unique posthumous testimony on one of our most glamorous eras.’
is an autobiography of John Casablancas who found ...Read More
February 17th, 2017
“No way to live in peace, not under Sadam, not after him.”
A distinguished Iraqi gentleman as he views a collaterally destroyed home.
France-based Iraqi filmmaker Abbas Fahdel
has single-handedly produced a monumental documentary film.
Homeland: Iraq Year Zero
is his coverage of the Ira ...Read More
February 16th, 2017
Brigid Maher’s The Mama Sherpas
introduces the practice of nurse-midwives
. The film covers their work in four birthing centers. The primary purpose is to promote this work and, in so doing, help reduce the number of unnecessary Cesarean births—and humanize our approach to the birthing process. Psychological pain, side-effects, scaring, an ...Read More