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


The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers

DEPreface: In 1973, I spent six weeks in a spiritual training program which included Patricia Ellsberg as a participant. My wife and I were invited to lunch with her and husband Daniel. Trapped in a narcissistic bubble, I paid little attention to the news about her husband, Daniel. He had made headlines—something about sneaking out confidential information about the Vietnam War, something

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Maidentrip: Around the World in Two Years

Laura Dekker was thirteen when she decided to be the youngest person ever to sail around the world alone. Her father reluctantly agreed, but the dream odyssey was delayed when The Netherlands’ government did not agree. Said government spent ten months attempting and failing to wrest custody of Laura from her father. 3Dekker set out on her boat, ‘Guppy’, at the age of fourteen, took two y

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Teenage Paparazzo: Shooting the Shooters

Adrian Grenier, the lead actor in HBO’s long-running Entourage series, discovers his life, inevitably, imitating his art. austin20visschedyk_xlargeOn his journey through celebrity-land Grenier has, inevitably again, become annoyed by and curious about the world of celebrity photographers – the ones with whom you don’t have an appoi

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The Tao of Blue Grass: A Portrait of Peter Rowan

Singer/songwriter, artist, story teller, world traveler, mystic. Having viewed Christine Funk’s The Tao of Bluegrass: A Portrait of Peter Rowan, I now add ‘legend’ to the above list. indexUtilizing interviews of Rowan and a large handful of his contemporaries, woven with clips of performances over the last five decades, Funk’s mosaic presents a soul of great beauty and countle

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The Age of Stupid

“It’s amazing,” the Archivist asks, “what state of mind were we in, to face extinction, and simply shrug it off?” He sits in a vast room, atop a tall tower—The Global Archive. It is 2055 AD. The Earth’s ecosphere has been decimated by global warming. Small bands of humans roam the planet. The Archive is humanity’s memory. aptallik-cagi-age-of-stupid ...Read More

Growing Cities: Urban Farms in America 

With Growing Cities, Director Dan Susman and cinematographer Andrew Monbouquette take us on a tour of urban farms in the United States, meeting their creators, and, of course, promoting much-needed urban farming. Beginning with the apparently and ironically urban-farmless Omaha, Nebraska, weScreen_Shot_2013-05-03_at_2.28.48_PM_2(1)...Read More

A People Uncounted: The Untold Story of the Roma

Directed by Aaron Yeger, released in the United States by First Run Features, and distributed in Canada by KinoSmith, Inc., A People Uncounted is an introduction to the porrajmos—the killing of 500,000 people alternately called Gypsy, Roma, or Sinti during the Holocaust. This figure, 500,000, represents 90% of the then-Roma population in Europe. peopleA People

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Surfwise: The Life and Times of Dorian Paskowitz

Take Alan Arkin’s black comedy Little Murders, mix it with Peter Weir’s dark drama The Mosquito Coast, add a large shovel-full of reality, and you’ve got Doug Pray’s documentary, Surfwise—about the life, times, and cult of physician Dorian Paskowitz. ...Read More

Uranium Drive-In: Half Life of the American Dream 

Directed by Suzan Beraza, and released by First Run Features, Uranium Drive-In tells the now classic story of people versus polluting industry—in this instance, the uranium mining and processing industry. ...Read More

The Curse of the Gothic Symphony: The Struggle for Release

Caveat emptor: Read this review at your own risk. This symphony’s curse can transfer quickly and easily. I will not be held responsible for any subsequent unhappy experiences you may have if you chose to read on. Okay. You asked for it.Curse-of-the-Gothic-Symphony_w The Curse of the Gothic Symphony tells the story

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