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:
For documentary fans, comparisons of Fran Strine’s Hired Gun and Morgan Neville’s ‘Twenty Feet from Stardom’ are inevitable.
‘Twenty Feet’ covers female back-up vocalists in the studio and on tour. ‘Gun’ covers—with one exception—male musicians called ‘side men’ or
Frank Rudolph Olson died on November 28, 1953, when he fell from the 13th floor of Manhattan’s Hotel Statler. Olson was survived by his wife and three children. Legendary documentarian Errol Morris tells Olson’s tragic story in his six-part, four-hour Netflix film, Wormwood.
Produced and directed by Academy Award winner Simon Kirk, The Pulitzer at 100 celebrates The Pulitzer Prizes on the occasion of the hundredth year since its founding by Joseph J. Pulitzer.
The film features three brilliantly interwoven layers: Writers speaking of their work, the Pulitzer awards, and the power of the written word; celebriti
Beginning in the early 1970s, prolific, well-lauded filmmaker Jon Alpert frequented Cuba with one of the earliest versions of a small, professional video camera/recorder. His focus was on the people—and Fidel. For forty-five years, Alpert was given seemingly unfettered access to Castro. The socialist dictator and the American media producer beca
Ceyda Torun’s Kedi explores the world of feral cats in Istanbul. According to one Istanbulian, Norwegian ships inadvertently deposited the felines there many years ago. There are now hundreds of thousands of cats roaming the metropolis.
Torun’s focus is on the relationship between Istanbul’s cats and homo sapiens. The filmmaker follows several Istanbulians as t
Nothing Is Forgiven tells the story of Zineb El Rhazoui, a Moroccan journalist/activist who immigrated to France to escape her country’s oppressive regime. El Rhazoui found Charlie Hebdo, the Paris-based satirical weekly that was attacked on January 7, 2015. Twelve people were killed, 11 were injured—most were El Rhazou
Cameraperson is a unique documentary film consisting of clips from superstar documentary cinematographer Kirsten Johnson’s 25 years of work. The multilayered film is carefully crafted, and functions as travelogue, memoir, and philosophical statement on the relationship between filmmaker and subject.
The film takes the viewer around the world,
Maggie Hadleigh-West’s Sick to Death! is a highly personal film which tells several health-related stories—her own struggles with thyroid disease, and those of the film’s interviewees. The film provides crucial information about conventional medicine’
"I love dance. I’m putting my heart on stage. My soul is dancing. It’s not just me. It is like I am living a dream." Carlos Hopuy, a dancer and a Trock.
Americans’ perspectives on gender identity and sexual behavior are going through a dizzying expansion. Having seen Bobbi Jo Hart’s Rebels on Pointe it is obvious that the more th