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—

Don also contributes film reviews and filmmaker profiles to CineSource Magazine online—

His weekly film review appears in The Marin Post

Don’s actor resumé, voice samples, and reel may be found at:

You can access Don’s Personal Historian services at:

You can find, and Like Don’s official Facebook page at

His Way: The Life and Times of Jerry Weintraub

His Way opens with a series of quick cuts of famous people sharing observations of legendary Hollywood producer Jerry Weintraub. They sketch a portrait of a man equally noble and ignoble – depending on your perspective and, especially, on which of his two lists you're on. his-way-1024 Douglas McGrath directs this affectionate look at Weintraub who – with his J

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Into the Arms of Strangers

Winner of the 2000 Oscar for best feature documentary, Into the Arms of Strangers tells of the humanitarian exodus, in 1938-1939, of children from Germany, Austria, and Czechoslovakia to The United Kingdom. Strangers #1 (1)The transport was initiated and supported by the people and government of Great Britain. Ten thousand children were saved by the ‘Kindertrans

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A Model for Matisse: The Story of Henri Matisse, Sister Jacques-Marie and the Vence Chapel

Produced for television in 2003,  A Model for Matisse is a sweet, simple, gratifying story of the friendship between the aging artist and 21-year old nursing student Monique Bourgeois – who eventually became Sister Jacques-Marie. 435375-a-model-for-matisse-filmThe two met in Nice, in 1941, when Matisse was recovering from canc

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Daddy I Do

Cassie Jaye's Daddy I Do opens with a close-up of a beautiful young woman sensually painting lipstick on her lips. Stevie Ray Vaughn's "You Better Leave My Little Girl Alone" smothers the scene with its hot-and-heavy moaning guitar. Cut to a handsome, middle-age, clean shaven man tying his tie. Both are at home, Still1preparing for a ceremony, a Pledge of Purity, to be conducted a

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Kings of Pastry

Produced by a team of accomplished filmmakers, Kings of Pastry documents, for the first time, the Meilleurs Ouvriers de France (MOF) an every-four-years international competition of pastry chefs in Lyon, France. pastry2Although the word ‘competition’ is used, the chefs are not competing with each other. Instead, there are a group of judges who evaluate the chefs

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Life According to Sam

Life According to Sam is an utterly spectacular life-affirming documentary about the ‘aging disease’ called progeria and the life of a child, Sam Berns, who was born with this genetic anomaly. Boston Herald MediaProduced by the Academy Award- and Emmy Award-winning team of Andrea Nix Fine and Sean Fine, and cablecast by HBO, the f

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Paper Clips: A Holocaust Memorial in the American South

Paper Clips documents the conception and emergence of a Holocaust memorial in Christian-White-Rural-Conservative Tennessee. paperclipsThe story begins at Whitwell Middle School, in Whitwell, Tennessee – 24 miles northwest of Chattanooga. The film’s central character is Principal Linda Hooper who provides a good portion of the narration. Her on-screen presence is as p

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More Than the Rainbow: Street Photographers of New York

Born and raised in New York City, arrested a couple times, maybe more, and with a difficult family background, Matt Weber found meaning and passion with photography – street photography, to be specific – with a film camera rather than digital, and in black and white. RainbowProduced and directed by Dan Wechsler, More Than the Rainbow focuses on Weber’s work as well as t

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When Louis Malle's My Dinner with Andre was released in 1981, the film asked and answered the question: Can two guys talking at dinner make a movie? The answer, of course, was 'yes.' I was as surprised as the next guy to find myself enraptured by Wallace Shawn's and Andre Gregory's conversation. pianomania-stefan-k</p> 
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Public Speaking: Introducing Fran Lebowitz

Although I was raised in the American South, I never felt more like what Fran Lebowitz calls a ‘hillbilly’ – her term for New York tourists – until I watched Martin Scorsese’s documentary about this writer/speaker/actor I’d never heard of before seeing this HBO film. FranSince Lebowitz was brand new to me, I have no idea if you, dear reader, know her work. In either case, you may

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