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

Moving from Emptiness: The Life and Art of a Zen Dude

Moving from Emptiness profiles Alok Hsu Kwang-han who is called a ‘Zen calligraphic painter.’ The phrase is way too small. He is a teacher of Zen Buddhism, an artist, and workshop leader. But those words do not come close to capturing who he really

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The Business of Amateurs: Degree Not Included

student-athlete (n): an unrecognized profession where pain and gain are mutually exclusive. There are a fount of adjectives to describe college sports in the United States of America: Unjust, Immoral, Unethical, Dangerous, Risky, Unhealthy, Tragic—and having just viewed Bob DeMars The Business of Amateurs—add the no

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Forced Perspective: A Profile of Artist Derek Hess

If you’re an extremely talented, massively prolific, and commercially successful artist like Derek Hess, you want your documentarian to do justice to yourself and your work—to mirror the passion and dedication and authenticity you bring to your work, and consequently, to those who view it. That’s just what director/editor Nick Cavalier has done for Cleveland-based Hess with his film, ...Read More

Casablancas: The Man Who Loved Women

‘In May 2011,’ the film begins, ‘John Casablancas met his friend Hupert Woroniecki in New York City. They spent three days locked in a studio and recorded his life story. What neither knew at the time was that John would die of cancer two years later, in 2013—making this recording a unique posthumous testimony on one of our most glamorous eras.’ Casablancas ...Read More

Homeland: Iraq Year Zero

“No way to live in peace, not under Sadam, not after him.” A distinguished Iraqi gentleman as he views a collaterally destroyed home. France-based Iraqi filmmaker Abbas Fahdel has single-handedly produced a monumental documentary film. Homeland: Iraq Yea

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The Mama Sherpas: Midwives Across America

Brigid Maher’s The Mama Sherpas introduces the practice of nurse-midwives. The film covers their work in four birthing centers. The primary purpose is to promote this work and, in so doing, help reduce the number of unnecessary Cesarean births—and humanize our approach to the birthing proc

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Sound of Redemption: The Frank Morgan Story

The Kino Lorber Sound of Redemption disc was one of a pile of ten recently-received DVDs. I nonchalantly got to the disc, and found myself unexpectedly moved by this story of a troubled master. Frank Morgan lived a life of cr

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Hannah: Buddhism’s Untold Story

Hannah Nydahl is a formerly unsung hero of Buddhism—Tibetan flavored. She and partner Ole studied and practiced Tibetan Buddhism intensely and devoted their lives to spreading the principles and practices of this philosophy or religion—depending on your perspective. Produced and directed by Marta György Kessler and Adam Penny, Hannah tells the couple’s epic story—th

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Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead: The Story of the National Lampoon

With Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead director/co-writer Douglas Tirola has given us a delightful, fascinating, entertaining story about the rise and fall of the seminal humor magazine “National Lampoon” (1970-1998). There are two foci in this history: The stories and characters involved in the publication, and the immeasurable impact the m

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First Position: Dancing for a Chance

First Position opens with the following text: Youth America Grand Prix is the world’s largest ballet competition that awards full scholarships and job contracts to dancers age 9-19 Aran, Rebecca, Jules, Michaela, Joan, and Miko are the six dancers producer/director Bess Kargman follows to the completion of a year’s competition—out of the thousands

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