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:
September 4th, 2016
‘the Great Song
’ in Michael Stillwater’s beatific In Search of the Great Song
is a metaphor, a reference to the sacred, to the spiritual connections with our world, to the grace and dignity of nature, and to the power of music, voice and sound.
September 2nd, 2016
Fimmakers Peter D. Hutchison, Kelly Nyks and Jared P. Scott have taken interviews of legendary author/speaker/activist Noam Chomsky and woven them into a coherent narrative of the corruption of our American socio-economic-political systems. In addition to being a requiem, the film is also a post mortem—descriptions of the strategies and tactics that have transformed the United States of America into an oligarchy.
The Ten Principles are:
Redesign the Economy
August 30th, 2016
When Jon Betz and Taggart Siegel make a film, it is a must-see. They’ve given us The Real Dirt on Farmer John
and Queen of the Sun
—strong, hard-hitting films about agriculture.
Their latest, Seed: The Untold Story,
is both inspiring and demoralizing.
The unhappy yet predictable aspect is the extent to which we have lost seeds. 94% o ...Read More
August 22nd, 2016
Joseph Dorman’s and Oren Rudavsky’s documentary, Colliding Dreams
is an objective exploration of the core Middle East conflict between Israel and its neighbors. The filmmakers use the ideas and history of Zionism as their springboard into this seemingly unending and hopeless conflict.
August 17th, 2016
Directed by narrative filmmaker Asif Kapadia, Senna
is a biography of Brazilian Formula One racing legend Ayrton Senna. There are different approaches to or philosophies of documentary film production. Kapadia chose the track less traveled—he used archival footage exclusively to tell the racer’s jaw-dropping story.
Senna ...Read More
August 14th, 2016
It is so easy to become inured to the travails of our world—necessary, some might say, in order to maintain one’s sanity.
Our planet’s human population is rapidly approaching 9 billion. Hundreds of millions—if not more—already live in abject poverty. Economic, political, and social injustice reign supreme around the Earth. War and strife are endemic—as is the ongoing destruction of our ecosphere.
August 13th, 2016
, the producer/director/cinematographer/editor of the wildly successful The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill
has given us another delightful avian-based documentary, Pelican Dreams ...Read More
August 7th, 2016
Fogo Island is a small island, off a larger island, off the coast of Canada’s Newfoundland.
grew up there, as did Zita Cobb
Saunders is an architect who now lives in Norway. Cobb found success in her professional life, and wanted to benefit the people, community, and Island of Fogo.
The island’s economy was based upon fish. Like many seas around our Earth, the sea around Fogo Island lost its ...Read More
July 27th, 2016
Director Shalini Kantayya’s Catching the Sun
addresses global warming and economic inequities by focusing on the use of solar power to reduce and eventually eliminate fossil fuels—more jobs, less pollution.
Liberal icon Van Jones embodies the film’s thesis with the concept of ‘green jobs’—providing much needed solar energy-base ...Read More
July 25th, 2016
Spring Hurlbut is a successful artist, as is Arnaud Maggs. The two share the love of a lifetime.
Produced by Marcia Connolly, David Craig, and Katherine Knight, Spring and Arnaud
explores their professional biographies, their work, and their love story. Being a card-carrying philistine, I do not fully understand their work; but as ...Read More