We received some sad news this week. Donald
J. Levit, one of our longtime valued critics at ReelTalk Movie Reviews, passed
away on January 8. We will miss his thorough, perceptive and well-written
Donald’s impressive academic background helped
make his reviews a learning experience for our readers. He earned a B. A. from
Duke and a Ph.D. from Chicago. His varied residences also gave him knowledge of
other cultures that enhanced his unique critiques. Although born in Nashville
and raised there and in Brooklyn, he lived in many other places in the U.S. He
also resided for a time in the Caribbean and, for twenty-two years, in Spain. During
his later years, he called New York City his home.
Phil Hall, one of Donald’s friends, writes, “Don
was a generous and insightful man, a charming raconteur and a lovely soul. I
will miss him very much. I met Don in 1998 when he came to a weekly retro film
series screening that I was programming in New York City. He enjoyed the show
and came back the next week, and for the following weeks. We got to know each
other better and I recommended that he write about films. I secured him a brief
gig with Film Threat before connecting him with ReelTalk Reviews, where he
offered erudite insight on current and contemporary cinema.”
Donald loved music, documentaries,
independent films and movies from countries all over the world. His
contributions to ReelTalk Movie Reviews increased the breadth and depth of our
Because The Music of Strangers: Yo-Yo Ma and the
Silk Road Ensemble was Donald’s final review, it seems fitting to conclude
with his profound last paragraph.
malnutrition, poverty, disease, hopelessness are rife in this present era of
displacement such as Earth has never before witnessed. The instinctive joy of
and in music is no miracle cure-all, but after the ninety-six minutes of MUSIC
OF STRANGERS, one may
recall Robert Kennedy: “I dream of things that never were, and ask why not?” We
need be strangers no more.
May you rest in peace, Donald J. Levit.
Labels: Donald J. Levit, In Memoriam, Online Film Critics Society, Phil Hall, ReelTalk Movie Reviews