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:
December 10th, 2016
“My hope is that we miraculously produce a generation of young I.F. Stones. We need to stop keeping up with the Kardashians, and start going back and catching up on I.F. Stone.” Jeremy Scahill
“There’s only two types of reporters. There’s those who care, and those who don’t. Most of them don’t care. But, if you care, if you are, as I was, in El Salvador, or Gaza, or Sarajevo, then you are immediately branded as political. Because if you care, you can’t lie to cover up oppression, atrocity, genocide. And, I. ...Read More
December 3rd, 2016
Looking for a film that takes you to a place you’ve never been, presented a world you never conceived? You found it.
With Speed Sisters
director Amber Fares and crew take us to Palestine, and introduces the first all-woman car racing team in the Arab world. I can’t speak for you, but I confess my preconceptions were seriously damaged.
The five women racers don’t wear headscarves, or any of th ...Read More
December 2nd, 2016
“This movie has good music, kinky stuff, a cute cat, romance, drama, and is definitely not normal.” Michelle Smith
Director Garrett Zevgetis has had his first feature picked up for theatrical distribution—a rare accomplishment in the documentary film world.
In Best and Most Beautiful Things
Zevgetis follows Michelle Smith for a period of time in her young a ...Read More
November 26th, 2016
Llyn Foulkes is an LA-based carpenter, musician, composer, singer, yodeler....and artist.
Co-produced and co-directed by first-time feature directors Tamar Halpern and Chris Quilty, Llyn Foulkes One Man Band
(the film’s full title) follows the multi-talented, self-absorbed gentleman through seven years of ups and downs. His life and work are driven, in part, by a rebelli ...Read More
November 8th, 2016
Eat That Question
is an introduction to the professional life and philosophy of legendary composer/musician/filmmaker Frank Zappa
Director Thorsten Schütte chose the graceful approach to telling Zappa’s story exclusively ...Read More
November 6th, 2016
Among the Believers
is as horrifying and gratifying a documentary as I’ve ever seen. Directors Hemal Trivedi and Mohammed Naqvi were given rare access to Abdul Aziz Ghazi, an Islamic cleric in Pakistan who—as of the time of production—heads a network of madrassahs called the Red Mosque. These are schools where children live and study. They are required to memorize the Quran—and learn no other subj ...Read More
November 5th, 2016
Written, produced, and directed by Nailah Jefferson, the double entendre-titled Vanishing Pearls
covers the impacts on a small town on the Louisiana coast devastated by the massive BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
Pointe a la Hache is a community of African American oystermen beset by decades of racism and economic repression. But, they created livelihoods for their families by oys ...Read More
October 25th, 2016
Directed by Yann Arthus-Bertrand and Michael Pitiot, written by Pitiot, Terra
is a beatific, passionate, bold documentary about life on Earth. The film is narrated in French, with English subtitles, and available on Netflix.
The narration is spoken in the first person, and that person is the spirit of humanity.
The focus is on the history of life beginning with lichen, an ...Read More
October 20th, 2016
Written, produced, and directed by prolific filmmaker Alex Winter, Deep Web
provides a brief introduction to the Internet’s underground—the deep web and the dark web. After this introduction the film focuses on the legal case of Ross William Ulbricht
who was arrested, tried, and convicted of a variety of federal crimes. U ...Read More
October 19th, 2016
Produced, directed, shot, and edited by Austin Peck and Annaliese Vandenberg, Gardeners of Eden
is another look at our slaughter of elephants in the wild. The emphasis, though, is on initiatives to save wild elephants and end the slaughter.
The film reports that out of a population of 3.5 million, 300,000 wild elephants remain—and their survival is in question. The total elimination of wild elephants is still a tragic possibility.
Of course, information about and images of the killi ...Read More