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

(Dis)Honesty: The Truth About Lies

“The bigger the brain, the larger the capacity to lie.” Murali Doraiswamy, Psychiatrist Duke Institute for Brain Science The title says it all in this documentary film about lying. Our host is Dan Ariely who is—and let me take a breath here—James B. Duke Professor of Psychology and Behavioral Economics at Duke University. Our hero is also founder of the Center for Advanced Hindsight. His career is devoted to the study of human lying. The goal is to learn ways

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Killswitch: Another Front on the Struggle for Democracy

When I saw the title ‘Killswitch’ on Netflix, and noted that it’s about the internet, I immediately assumed the film is just another documentary about that subject, ‘I’ve seen enough of these,’ I thought. I was wrong. What sparked me to view the film was remembering the just-occurred, non-violent coup d'état that put Trump in power, and gave the Republican Party control of all three branches of our so-called democracy. Governmental corruption ha

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Minimalism: Imagine a Life with Less

“You can never get enough of what you don’t really want.” Rick Hanson, Ph.D., Neuropsychologist Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus—also known as The Minimalists—are partners on a quest: To promote the values of consuming less, owning less. Minimalism  ...Read More

Jaco: A Biography of Music Legend Jaco Pastorius

Known primarily in jazz circles, Jaco Pastorius revolutionized the playing of the electric bass guitar. He died in 1987 as a result of self-destructive activities. Jaco denied himself and the world an unfathomable amount of beautiful musics of many ilk. Early in his life he had a premonition that he would die at the age of 34. He was off by two years. This two-hour bio-doc

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Janis Joplin: Little Girl Blue

It’s tough. Probably the reason people don’t see ‘em. Documentaries about unhappy subjects—and most of them are about such. When it comes to the world-changers I admire and respect, and whose passing was untimely, it’s even harder to break through the resistance to seeing their stories, reliving their public lives, pinning for another story their lives could have written—one in which they live and make even greater contributions to our world..., and my soul.

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The Overnighters: When Fracking Came to Town

Jesse Moss’s documentary, The Overnighters, has two foci: What happens to the small town of Williston, North Dakota when there is a fracking boon; and a character study of Jay Reinke, Pastor of Williston’s Concordia Lutheran Church

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Vince Giordano: There’s a Future in the Past

A couple guys are loading a large white van with a large amount of large cases full of large musical instruments. One of the two men has a large crop of black wavy hair. Cut to a large dinner/dance club in a big city. A band is playing. Eleven players all in black tuxedos, performing a very fast tempo old-fashioned song. Sounds like the 1920s or 30s. Sounds like the music from most of Woody Allen’s movies. Sounds like some music I heard on Garrison Keillor’s ‘A Pra

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Hooligan Sparrow: Confronting China’s Power Structure

Shot guerilla-style, Hooligan Sparrow follows Chinese political activist Ye Haiyan as she confronts the institutionalization of rape in China—specifically loopholes that allow government workers to have consensual or nonconsensual sex with female minors with little to no consequence for the perpetrators. Haiyan’s nom de plume is ‘Hooligan Sparrow.’ Haiy

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Mudbloods: An Introduction to Collegiate Quidditch

Although obviously a contradiction in terms, a ‘mudblood’ is a muggle who happens to possess some kind of metaphysical power. Mudbloods is a documentary about intercollegiate quidditch. The film follows UCLA’s quidditch team through the 2011 season of play leading to the Annual World Cup competition in Middlebury, Vermont. Adjusting to terra firma requires e

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All Governments Lie: Truth, Deception, and the Spirit of I.F. Stone

“My hope is that we miraculously produce a generation of young I.F. Stones. We need to stop keeping up with the Kardashians, and start going back and catching up on I.F. Stone.” Jeremy Scahill “There’s only two types of reporters. There’s those who care, and those who don’t. Most of them don’t care. But, if you care, if you are, as I was, in El Salvador, or Gaza, or Sarajevo, then you are immediately branded as political. Because if you care, you can’t lie t

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