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:
Take Alan Arkin’s black comedy Little Murders. Mix it with Peter Weir’s dark drama The Mosquito Coast. Add a large shovel-full of reality, and you’ve got Doug Pray’s documentary, Surfwise – about the life, times, and cult of physician Dorian Paskowitz.
Pray examines Doctor Paskowitz’s life from childhood, through physician-hood, through bohemia-lan
Directed by Suzan Beraza, and released by First Run Features, Uranium Drive-In tells the now classic story of people versus polluting industry – in this instance, the uranium mining and processing industry.
Beraza does a textbook job of covering the human side of the conflict in a small Colorado town whose people believe that their only
Caveat emptor: Read this review at your own risk. This symphony’s curse can transfer quickly and easily. I will not be held responsible for any subsequent unhappy experiences you may have if you chose to read on.
Okay. You asked for it.
The Curse of the Gothic Symphony tells the story of
The official website for HBO’s The Newburgh Sting includes a Resources link which lists several organizations:
Council on American-Islamic Relations, Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law, American Civil Liberties Union, Muslim Public Affairs Council, Center for Constitutions Rights, and Human Rights Watch. I’m out of breath....Read More
In 1986, Chris Farina purchased a parking lot in Charlottesville, Virginia.
In 2009, Meghan Eckman produced and directed a documentary, The Parking Lot Movie, about the attendants working at Farina’s ‘The Corner Parking Lot.’
Located near the University of Virginia, adjacent to the backs of several bars as well as train tracks, and featuring a wooden shack built in 1986,
Produced and directed by San Francisco filmmaker Jennifer M. Kroot, To Be Takei is both a profile and biography of actor/activist George Takei.
I never cease to be amazed by how much information – and entertainment – a talented filmmaker can weave into a 90-minute film. Kroot’s film is no exception.
In that short period of time we see and hear Takei and his
Produced and directed by Dulanie Ellis, Ground Operations tells an almost literal swords-to-ploughshares story of the solving of two American problems with one solution.
Problem One: Our nation’s treatment of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans is shameful – as evidenced by unemployment, homelessness, suicide, mental illness, and the well-documented in
Aya Awakenings is a superbly crafted, highly sophisticated cinematic journey into psychedelic and transcendent consciousness.
Produced and directed by Timothy Parish and Rak Razam, based on Razam’s book
Canadian singer/songwriter Rita Chiarelli wanted to visit the ‘birth of the blues’ which was, as she understood, Angola prison in Louisiana. There she found prisoners serving life sentences who play and sing music with the skills of seasoned professionals.
Chiarelli resolved to put on a show of their music. It took her ten years, but she did it, and that show
Muscle Shoals is a city in northwest Alabama, along the south side of the Tennessee River, in the United States of America.
Muscle Shoals is a documentary masterpiece which covers the birth and history of the city as an international hub for R&B, pop, and rock singers. In telling and showing Muscle Shoals’ musical story, first time director Greg 'Freddy' Camalier also tells the story of Rick Hall whose life appears to have emerged from Greek mythology – an amalgam of Homer’s The Odyssey and the The Phoenix.
Raised in abject poverty, Hall experienced tragedies throughout his life. After a few of them, he opene