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:
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
February 11th, 2017
The Kino Lorber Sound of Redemption
disc was one of a pile of ten recently-received DVDs. I nonchalantly got to the disc, and found myself unexpectedly moved by this story of a troubled master.
Frank Morgan lived a life of crime, addiction, and incarceration peppered by shor ...Read More
February 8th, 2017
Hannah Nydahl is a formerly unsung hero of Buddhism—Tibetan flavored. She and partner Ole studied and practiced Tibetan Buddhism intensely and devoted their lives to spreading the principles and practices of this philosophy or religion—depending on your perspective.
Produced and directed by Marta György Kessler and Adam Penny, Hannah
tells the couple’s epic story—their travels, adventures, and gratifying success in ...Read More
February 3rd, 2017
With Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead
director/co-writer Douglas Tirola has given us a delightful, fascinating, entertaining story about the rise and fall of the seminal humor magazine “National Lampoon” (1970-1998). There are two foci in this history: The stories and characters involved in the publication, and the immeasurable impact the magazine and its creators had on the evolution of c ...Read More
January 28th, 2017
opens with the following text: Youth America Grand Prix is the world’s largest ballet competition that awards full scholarships and job contracts to dancers age 9-19
Aran, Rebecca, Jules, Michaela, Joan, and Miko are the six dancers producer/director Bess Kargman follows to the completion of a year’s competition—out of the thousands who initially auditioned. Aran, Jules, and Joan a ...Read More
January 25th, 2017
Over the decades legendary auteur, Werner Herzog
, has become quite the documentarian. When I spotted his documentary coverage of the internet—Lo and Behold
—on Netflix, I was hesitant to press play. The internet is ubiquitous, and is the subject of non-stop media coverage and social dialog. What’s new?
As always, my resista ...Read More