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 Business of Being Born: A Two-Disc Set

When one cultivates the habit of seeing documentary films—simply by virtue of the genre—and when said one chooses to limit their self-censorship as to the scope of subjects to be explored, said one will be confronted with ego-dystonic information, ideas, and images. (‘Ego-dystonic’ is a fancy word for ‘inconvenient truths.’) For yours truly two subjects farthest from my interests and concerns were ballet and childbirth. I have seen five

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Harold and Lillian: A Hollywood Love Story

What more can you ask of a movie?! A true love that shone more than five decades, Hollywood insiders talking about inside Hollywood, and behind-the-scenes images of movie making—Big Time movie making, that is—all lovingly crafted. Daniel and Jennifer Raim’s Harold and Lillian: A Hollywood Love Story ...Read More

The God Cells: Medicine’s Worst Nightmare

Prologue: Self-taught documentary filmmaker Eric Merola makes films about health and disease. 'The God Cells'—his latest—is about the therapeutic use of ‘fetal stem cells.’ That phrase instantly evokes the controversy regarding women’s reproductive rights. Humanity will take this passionate disagreement over a woman’s right to choose to its collective grave. This review acknowledges this contentious subject, eschews discussion of same, and addre

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An Art that Nature Makes: The Work of Photographer Rosamond Purcell

‘Romantic decline’ Errol Morris calls it at film’s beginning—a kinder word for one of fine art photographers’ favorite subjects, ‘decadence.’ But, as the man who wrote Shakespeare’s plays says, “A piece of rotting wood is a piece of rotting wood.” After viewing Molly Bernstein’s documentary—An Art that Nature Makes—which int

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Gary Numan: Android in La La Land

In Gary Numan: Android in La La Land filmmakers Steve Read and Rob Alexander follow the 1970s British pop star into and through a midlife renaissance of his professional career. The attempt to revive a music career is inherently risky—highly risky—and, therefore, fears and dread are inevitable. Through interview, Alexander and Read capture those

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Accidental Courtesy: Daryl Davis, Race, & America

Accomplished African American musician/author/lecturer Daryl Davis received a phone call from a member of the Ku Klux Klan asking for a referral to a business that would rent him a bus. Their group had planned a march, and the local transport rental companies had refused to do business with the Klan. Davis loaned the group his bus asking only that they replace

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A Small Good Thing: How Can We Live in a Better Way?

“I think when you don’t share, that internally, you’re destroying yourself.” Shirley Edgerton Executive Produced and directed by Pamela Tanner Boll, A Small Good Thing profiles six people who live a grounded and balanced life inspired by values based on a close connection to their bodies and health, to the natural world, and the greater

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Sons of Ben: The Movie

Written and directed by Jeffrey C. Bell, Sons of Ben tells the story of how a small group of seemingly ordinary guys calling themselves ‘Sons of Ben’ worked tirelessly for years to secure a Major League Soccer team to the Philadelphia region—the stadium is in Chester, Pennsylvania. (The ‘Ben’ refers to that Franklin dude.) The 75 minute film is short for the scop

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It’s Criminal: “If I Was Born Nicki, I Would Be in Jail”

That’s one of the statements made by a Dartmouth student about her experience participating in a unique program created by Dartmouth Professor Pati Hernandez. The summer program brings female students together with incarcerated females to produce a play based on the experiences of the prisoners. This year’s program—covered by Sig

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An American Conscience: The Reinhold Niebuhr Story

An American Conscience is an hour-long documentary introducing the work and—especially—person of theologian Reinhold Niebuhr. The inspiration for this documentary is both the power and impact of Neibuhr’s expressions, and the filmmaker’s intention to expand awareness

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