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:
There are certain filmed stories that will stay with us the rest of our lives. First time feature film director Sky Bergman’s Lives Well Lived is one of them.
Bergman interviews 40 people between the ages of 75 and 100. Each tells her or his story. Between some interviews are interstitials in which a few interviewees respond to ques
“She is drugged,” the Indian guru Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh states emphatically, “she is on hard drugs. I have never made love to her, that much is certain. Perhaps that is the jealousy. She always wanted... (pauses) but I have made it a point never make love with a secretary.” (His large group of followers laugh loudly.) “Love affair never ends. It can turn into a hate affair. She did not prove to be a woman. She proved to be a perfect bitch.” (More laughter.) She
Directed by Reuben Atlas and Jerry Rothwell, $our Grapes tells the story of a massive heist in the American wine industry—the sale, at auctions, of phony rare bottles of wines.
The perpetrator was Rudy Kurniawan, a charming young man of Chinese descent, based in Indonesia, and living in the United States.
Early in the film we lear
When asked what he would like his obituary to say about him, Arthur Miller responded with just one word, ‘writer.’ Hence, the documentary’s one-word subtitle.
In Arthur Miller: Writer, accomplished writer/actor/director, and Miller’s daughter Rebecca Miller tells her father’s story—in a too-short 90 minutes
$13 Billion Annually
That’s the upside to the marketing and sales of prescription performance enhancing drugs. Alison Klayman’s Take Your Pills is an exploration of what we get for our money.
The primary focus is on Adderall and, secondarily, on Ritalin—as used by people who do not have ADHD
Anna Deavere Smith interviewed more than 250 people to write and perform her epic one-woman play, Notes from the Field.
Smith culled through this 300 hours of interviews, choose 19 interviewees, selected interview segments of each, and performed them as the interviewee. She began work on this project in 2012, perform
When Jay Consalvi went home from the hospital—at two days of age—his father took the infant flying for 20 minutes before going home. By the time he was five Jay wanted to fly, and by 11, he wanted to be a Navy fighter pilot—although he didn’t know what a fighter pilot does.
Meagan Varley wanted to fly Navy jets since the age of 12
If I were teaching a graduate course in ethics I would have my class see A River Below. The students would then be required to write a comprehensive examination of the ethics of the five principals: The director, the two ‘stars,’ an impoverished Amazonian river community immersed in a Brazilian environmental controversy, and the
Written and directed by Catherine Bainbridge and Alfonso Maiorana, Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked the World brings to light the significant impact of Indigenous Americans on rock and pop music—and since American music found its way around the world, this impact is global in nature.
The film features Robbie Robertson, B
There was a time when the poisoning of an American suburban community—like Love Canal—would receive so much national news coverage that the US government would, eventually, be forced to take effective action. Those days are long gone.
With the consolidation of powers by the federal government and corporations, our national news me