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 Posthttps://marinpost.org/

Don’s actor resumé, voice samples, and reel may be found at: www.DonSchwartz.com

You can access Don’s Personal Historian services at:

You can find, and Like Don’s official Facebook page athttps://www.facebook.com/OfficialDonSchwartz

The Judge and The General

As I’ve written more than once, if a documentary – or a narrative – effectively tells just one story, it is successful. Produced by a San Francisco Bay Area team, The Judge and The General tells many stories. The two primary ones are Augusto Pinochet’s 1973 ascension to power in the South American nation of Chile, judge_and_the_general-01 ...Read More

Living in Emergency: Stories of Doctors Without Borders

MEDECINES SANS FRONTIERES (MSF), Doctors Without Borders, is headquartered in Paris, France. The organization provides emergency medical needs to ‘populations in distress.’ It provides treatment to ten million people annually – out of a global population of more than 2 billion who have no access to LIVING-articleLargeessential medical services. Ther

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K2: Siren of the Himalayas

K2: Siren of the Himalayas tells two stories of K2. One is about a 2009 team attempting to ascend what is regarded as the most dangerous mountain to ascend to the summit. 59o5NIn addition to pursuing their avocation, this group is also celebrating and honoring the hundredth anniversary of the first expedition to attempt the K2 summit lead by the Duke of Abruzzi. This is the film

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A Matter of Taste: Serving Up Paul Liebrandt

Chocolate covered scallops; espuma of calf brains and foie gras; and beer and truffle soup are just three of hundreds – if not thousands – of dishes created by celebrity chef Paul Liebrandt over his decades-long career. Inspired by Liebrandt's avant garde dishes and roller-coaster story, first time feature director Sally Rowe serves up A Matter of Taste, her homage to the Master Chef. MOT_poste</p> 
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Alive Inside: The Power of Music

Alive Inside tells the story of Dan Cohen’s discovery that when people suffering from age-related memory loss – my preferred term for the various kinds of ways we lose memory – are given iPods with headphones playing musics from their past, they come alive. AliveCohen’s story arc is one of struggling to make available iPods and headphones for every resident in every nursing home in

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An Apology to Elephants: The Abuse and Rescue of Elephants

An Apology to Elephants is yet another demonstration of the visceral power of film. In thirty-nine short minutes we are struck with images and stories of our abuse, torture, and exploitation of elephants. We are also informed – or reminded – about the many virtuous qualities these intelligent beings possess and manifest, virtues that only serve to amplify the horrors of our treatment of them. ...Read More

Anita: Speaking Truth to Power

Produced, written, and directed by Frieda Mock, Anita: Speaking Truth to Power tells the story of African American Anita Hill who, in the fall of 1991, at a United States Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing on the confirmation of Clarence Thomas as a member of the United States Supreme Court, testified against that Anitaconfirmation on the basis of her experience of being sexually har

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Chasing Ice: James Balog and His Extreme Ice Survey

Directed by Jeff Orlowski, Chasing Ice is the best-produced and most important environmental documentary since Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth. Orlowski tells two stories here: The life and work of celebrated photographer James Balog and the melting of our Earth’s ice caused by massive amounts of man-made carbon dioxide emissions. fs_chasingice_3Ini

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CRUDE

CRUDE is accomplished and prolific filmmaker Joe Berlinger’s coverage of an ongoing, epic struggle for justice of 30,000 Ecuadorians with oil-giant Chevron. A portion of Ecuador the size of Rhode Island was virtually invaded by Texaco – with complicity of the Ecuadorean government – in 1964. crude-blog480Decades of environmental destruction of this pristin

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Earth Made of Glass: Post-Genocide Rwanda

Initially cablecast by HBO, Earth Made of Glass opens with a quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson: "There is no den in the wide world to hide a rogue. Commit a crime and the earth is made of glass." EARTHThe rogue here is France, which this film states was complicit in the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, in which one million people were killed. Co-written, co-produced, and directed by Deborah Scranton

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