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:
Louder Than a Bomb covers the annual Chicago High Schools-based “Poetry Slam” called, of course, Louder Than a Bomb.
Produced and directed by Jon Siskel and Greg Jacobs, the film follows four teams and four individuals—Adam, Lamar, Nate, and Nova—in the eighth year (2008) of the competition in which 46 teams participated.
Private Violence is a well-produced documentary about domestic violence in the United States. The statistics on this type of violence – which is primarily perpetrated against women – and the occasional flurry of national news headlines are chronically horrifying.
Produced and directed by Cynthia Hill, and premiering October 20, 2014, on HBO, Private
Directed, edited, and shot by Nicola Bellucci, In the Garden of Sounds tells the story and demonstrates the work of music and sound therapist Wolfgang Fasser who became blind at an early age.
First Reaction to Press Release: 'Hmm. This is a documentary about a pageant for disabled little girls. A pageant. Pageants highlight the most superficial aspect of our humanity, and ignore character. But this one’s for and about disabled little girls. It won't be easy to stomach this, but I'll check it out.'
And then I watched the movie—in tears the whole time.
Produced and directed by Ron Davis, and cablecast by HBO, Miss You ...Read More
What’s the deal with string quartets? I’ll be the first one to admit I’m a philistine, but I’m smart enough to know it’d take a book to answer that question.
I ask it, though, because Allan Miller’s Speak the Music is the fourth film I’ve seen in a short period of time about string quartets. I’ll take advice from th
The Act of Killing focuses on the 1965 genocide in Indonesia.
The film’s introductory text states:
“In 1965, the Indonesian government was overthrown by the military. Anybody opposed to the military dictatorship could be accused of being a ‘communist’—union members, landless farmers, intellectuals, and the ...Read More
In 1973, I spent six weeks in a spiritual training program which included Patricia Ellsberg as a participant. Trapped in a narcissistic bubble, I paid little attention to the news about her husband, Daniel. He had made headlines—something about sneaking out confidential information about the Vietnam War, something about 'The Pentagon Papers.' I was oblivious of the honor I experienced being i
Laura Dekker was thirteen when she decided to be the youngest person ever to sail around the world alone. Her father reluctantly agreed, but the dream odyssey was delayed when The Netherlands’ government didn’t. They spent ten months attempting and failing to wrest custody of Laura from her father.
Dekker set out on her boat, ‘Guppy’, at the age of fourteen, took two years, sailed aroun
Adrian Grenier, the lead actor in HBO’s long-running Entourage series, discovers his life, inevitably, imitating his art.
On his journey through celebrity-land Grenier has, inevitably again, become annoyed by and curious about the world of celebrity photographers – the ones with whom you don’t have an appoint
Singer/songwriter, artist, story teller, world traveler, mystic.
Having viewed Christine Funk’s The Tao of Bluegrass: A Portrait of Peter Rowan, I now add ‘legend’ to the above list.
Utilizing interviews of Rowan and a large handful of his contemporaries, woven with clips of performances over the last five decades, Funk’s mosaic presents a soul of great beauty and countless