Documentary filmmaker Chuck Olin died Jan. 20 of complications related to amyloidosis in Stinson Beach, Calif. He was 68.
During his nearly 40-year documentary and corporate filmmaking career, Olin won a local Emmy for “Palette of Glass,” a 1977 film documenting artist Marc Chagall’s creation of “The America Windows,” a stained glass tribute in honor of the country’s bicentennial, for the Art Institute of Chicago.
His best-known film may be “In Our Own Hands: The Hidden Story of the Jewish Brigade in World War II,” a 1998 documentary about the British army unit made up of men from what was then Palestine. It was the only all-Jewish fighting force in the war.
Olin launched his film career in his native Chicago in the late 1960s as a member of the Film Group, which produced award-winning films that chronicled the era’s social turmoil — films such as those on the 1968 Democratic National Convention, the Black Panther Movement and the death of Panther leader Fred Hampton.
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In 1974, he founded his own production company, Chuck Olin Associates, to make documentary and corporate films.
Among Olin’s films is “Out of the Silence: The Fight for Human Rights,” which was shot in Czechoslovakia and Guatemala in the late 1980s and early ’90s and chronicled the evolution of the modern human rights movement around the world. Olin later raised funds to translate and donate copies of the film to more than 200 human rights groups worldwide.
He most recently was working on “Requiem for a Blue Lagoon,” a film about efforts to save nearby Bolinas Lagoon near San Francisco.
Olin is survived by wife, Nancy; a son; a stepson; a brother and five grandchildren.