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:
First Reaction to Press Release: 'Hmm. This is a documentary about a pageant for disabled little girls. A pageant. Pageants highlight the most superficial aspect of our humanity, and ignore character. But this one’s for and about disabled little girls. It won't be easy to stomach this, but I'll check it out.'
And then I watched the movie—in tears the whole time.
Produced and directed by Ron Davis, and cablecast by HBO, Miss You ...Read More
What’s the deal with string quartets? I’ll be the first one to admit I’m a philistine, but I’m smart enough to know it’d take a book to answer that question.
I ask it, though, because Allan Miller’s Speak the Music is the fourth film I’ve seen in a short period of time about string quartets. I’ll take advice from th
The Act of Killing focuses on the 1965 genocide in Indonesia.
The film’s introductory text states:
“In 1965, the Indonesian government was overthrown by the military. Anybody opposed to the military dictatorship could be accused of being a ‘communist’—union members, landless farmers, intellectuals, and the ...Read More
Preface: In 1973, I spent six weeks in a spiritual training program which included Patricia Ellsberg as a participant. My wife and I were invited to lunch with her and husband Daniel.
Trapped in a narcissistic bubble, I paid little attention to the news about her husband, Daniel. He had made headlines—something about sneaking out confidential information about the Vietnam War, something ab
Laura Dekker was thirteen when she decided to be the youngest person ever to sail around the world alone. Her father reluctantly agreed, but the dream odyssey was delayed when The Netherlands’ government did not agree. Said government spent ten months attempting and failing to wrest custody of Laura from her father.
Dekker set out on her boat, ‘Guppy’, at the age of fourteen, took two yea
Adrian Grenier, the lead actor in HBO’s long-running Entourage series, discovers his life, inevitably, imitating his art.
On his journey through celebrity-land Grenier has, inevitably again, become annoyed by and curious about the world of celebrity photographers – the ones with whom you don’t have an appoint
Singer/songwriter, artist, story teller, world traveler, mystic.
Having viewed Christine Funk’s The Tao of Bluegrass: A Portrait of Peter Rowan, I now add ‘legend’ to the above list.
Utilizing interviews of Rowan and a large handful of his contemporaries, woven with clips of performances over the last five decades, Funk’s mosaic presents a soul of great beauty and countless
“It’s amazing,” the Archivist asks, “what state of mind were we in, to face extinction, and simply shrug it off?” He sits in a vast room, atop a tall tower—The Global Archive.
It is 2055 AD. The Earth’s ecosphere has been decimated by global warming. Small bands of humans roam the planet. The Archive is humanity’s memory.
With Growing Cities, Director Dan Susman and cinematographer Andrew Monbouquette take us on a tour of urban farms in the United States, meeting their creators, and, of course, promoting much-needed urban farming.
Beginning with the apparently and ironically urban-farmless Omaha, Nebraska, we...Read More
Directed by Aaron Yeger, released in the United States by First Run Features, and distributed in Canada by KinoSmith, Inc., A People Uncounted is an introduction to the porrajmos—the killing of 500,000 people alternately called Gypsy, Roma, or Sinti during the Holocaust. This figure, 500,000, represents 90% of the then-Roma population in Europe.
A People Un