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:
April 23rd, 2017
Prologue: Self-taught documentary filmmaker Eric Merola makes films about health and disease. 'The God Cells'—his latest—is about the therapeutic use of ‘fetal stem cells.’ That phrase instantly evokes the controversy regarding women’s reproductive rights. Humanity will take this passionate disagreement over a woman’s right to choose to its collective grave. This review acknowledges this contentious subject, eschews discussion of same, and addresses directly the film’s subject.
_____________ ...Read More
April 16th, 2017
‘Romantic decline’ Errol Morris calls it at film’s beginning—a kinder word for one of fine art photographers’ favorite subjects, ‘decadence.’ But, as the man who wrote Shakespeare’s plays says, “A piece of rotting wood is a piece of rotting wood.”
After viewing Molly Bernstein’s documentary—An Art that Nature Makes
—which introduces the photography of ...Read More
April 15th, 2017
In Gary Numan: Android in La La Land
filmmakers Steve Read and Rob Alexander follow the 1970s British pop star into and through a midlife renaissance of his professional career. The attempt to revive a music career is inherently risky—highly risky—and, therefore, fears and dread are inevitable. Through interview, Alexander and Read capture those feelings. They also provide a profile of the proli ...Read More
March 30th, 2017
Accomplished African American musician/author/lecturer Daryl Davis
received a phone call from a member of the Ku Klux Klan asking for a referral to a business that would rent him a bus. Their group had planned a march, and the local transport rental companies had refused to do business with the Klan. Davis loaned the group his bus asking only that they replace the fuel used in the trip.
When the group retur ...Read More
March 24th, 2017
“I think when you don’t share, that internally, you’re destroying yourself.” Shirley Edgerton
Executive Produced and directed by Pamela Tanner Boll, A Small Good Thing
six people who live a grounded and balanced life inspired by values based on a close connection to their bodies and health, to the natural world, and the greater good. Boll includes interviews of professionals wh ...Read More
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