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:
The vast majority of feature documentary films I receive are called ‘streamers.’ That is, instead of a DVD or Blu-ray disc, I get a link and a password, and watch the film on my computer. That annoys me, and the filmmakers do not provide much-needed Closed Captioning. But it’s the only way can view and review.
I was pleasantly surprised when I received a sealed commercial Blu-ray disc from Cinema Libre Studio called “At WAR”—about an extended labor dispute
Suzanne Simard, Ph.D. and German forester Peter Wohlleben are two of the six researchers who reveal the hidden life of trees in Julia Dordel’s and Guido Tölke’s Intelligent Trees.
Earlier this century filmmaker James Cameron let the world know he was already hip to the true nature of trees when he cast Sigourney Weav
“What we want to do is force people to evaluate their notions of the United States being a Christian nation. It’s not. We are a secular nation. We’re supposed to be a democratic, pluralistic nation. We are supposed to be a nation that doesn’t allow the government to dictate what is appropriate religious expression.” ‘Lucien Greaves’—Spokesperson, The Satanic Temple
“I want to see science fiction step over the old walls, and head writing over to the next wall, and start to break it down, too.”
Written and directed by Arwen Curry, Worlds of Ursula K. Le Guin tells the prolific writer’s life story in an amazingly short 68 minutes. The ‘Worlds’ in the film’s title
Although I regret not having seen The Wavy Gravy Movie when it was released in 2009, I am grateful and excited to have seen this thoroughly gratifying Kino Lorber 10th Anniversary Edition with its added 2019 interview of Wavy Gravy and wife Johanara Romney—and with over 55 minutes of additional scenes.
Directed by prolific filmmaker Joseph Hillel, City Dreamers profiles the above mentioned four who, at the time of production, were between the ages of 87 and 97—and still active.
Denise Scott Brown, Phyllis Lambert, Blanche Lemco van Ginkel, and Cornelia Hahn Oberlander are icons—if not legends—in the worlds of architecture
“Bellingcat doesn’t have institutional support. They don’t have a big building at The Hague, or Brussels where they do their work. They actually publish very detailed analysis, and many of them are volunteers, living at home. They don’t have security.
"What they do is really risk a great deal to find out the truth in very complex situations that include major global players.”
Professor Claire Wardle, Executive Director,
Gemma is 18 years old. She smokes cigarettes, and lives in Motherwell, Scotland—a thriving community until Margaret Thatcher’s policies brought down the steel mill. She and her companions are called ‘scheme birds.’
“A scheme,” she says, “is like a non-snobby place to stay.”
Gemma never knew her mother. She was raised, instead, by her grandfather who she calls Papa.
Papa is teaching Gemma boxing. When not teaching, Papa raises and releases lar
In 2002, veteran filmmaker Sarah Feinbloom produced and directed What Do You Believe?—The Religious Lives of American Teenagers. The award-winning film was featured on PBS, and screened internationally. In 2019, she released her follow-up film
September 8, 2019
I had occasion to contact filmmaker Steve Burrows recently with an inconsequential question. After that was laid to rest I asked him what’s next in his professional life, and he gave me an unanticipated dramatic earful about the incredible success of his 2018 film, BLEED OUT—about injuries and deaths caused by medical errors—th