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:
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
October 16th, 2016
This story transcends geographical boundaries, racial boundaries, socio-economic and cultural boundaries. Although the film’s title denotes completion, this is a film about many beginnings.
is Bryan Tucker’s first feature documentary film. Quickly we see he is a natural-born filmmaker.
Angela was born of African-American parents in 1985, in Ten ...Read More
October 14th, 2016
“You connect with them because you’re looking in their eyes, and they’re looking in yours.” Jo-Anne McArthur
I have never had such trepidation about sharing my review of a documentary film. I know how hard the information and images in this film are to stomach, to let in to our minds and hearts. I know the reluctance to even start this film about animal abuse and slaughter.
For reasons I struggle to understand, it seems people can learn about the myriad kinds of injustice and destruction on our planet, yet it ...Read More
October 13th, 2016
Phillip Toledano is a prolific multi-media artist. Very multi-media, very prolific. Here is his CV
The Many Sad Fates of Mr. Toledano
is filmmaker Joshua Seftel’s faithful coverage of iconic photographer Phillip Toledano’s three-year-long personal exploration of his fears of growing old. ...Read More
October 7th, 2016
In my introduction to Telling Their Own Stories: Conversations with Documentary Filmmakers
I compared the watching of documentaries to taking The Matrix’s ‘red pill’ the act of which indicates the taker is committed to seeing the world as it is—not as they imagine or wish, just as it is.
Cassie Jaye’s latest release, The Red Pill
, is well-titled. Jaye decided to learn the core issues of somethi ...Read More
October 3rd, 2016
Written, directed, and starring Greg Palast, The Best Democracy Money Can Buy
is another look at the usurpation of the United States’ government—and many states’ governments—by the wealthy and powerful. The film is as entertaining as it is infuriating.
Palast portrays an amalgam of journalist and noir film detective as he doggedly seeks the per ...Read More
September 25th, 2016
Josh Aronson’s Talent Has Hunger
follows legendary cello teacher Paul Katz and a group of students over a period of seven years. The film is a rare opportunity and treat to experience the depth and breadth of skills required to master an instrument, and the dedication it takes to stay with the challenges of learning and changing over so many years—let ...Read More
September 23rd, 2016
Whatever the etiology, the number of children who develop autism has increased dramatically, if not exponentially. This tragic phenomenon has created an inevitable subculture—with micro-cultures within that subculture. One of those sub-subcultures is individuals ‘on the higher functioning end of the autism spectrum.’
How to Dance in Ohio
follows a group of adolescents who receive a variety of serv ...Read More
September 20th, 2016
You See Me
is a documentary film about the filmmaker’s family. Veteran documentarian Linda J. Brown tells her family’s story. She is searching for meaning, understanding, and resolution in the lifelong dynamics of this family. Her father, Stanley, is the central character, the central mystery.
Brown uses interview, n ...Read More
September 15th, 2016
Directed by Niles Heckman and hosted by Rak Razam, Shamans of the Global Village
covers the resurgence of shamanistic practices in the West. Each episode will cover a shaman and a particular ethnogenic medicine she or he incorporates in their practice. The series’ planned episodes are listed below.
The first episode—premier date is October 1, 2016—features Dr. Octavio Rettig, a medical s ...Read More