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

Eve’s Apple: Ending Female Genital Mutilation

Around the world six girls a minute suffer the horrors of female genital mutilation (FGM). Eve’s Apple reveals the depth of this global horror, and highlights initiatives to stop it. The film features interviews with those who have suffered this brutal, lethal insult to women’s bodies and minds, a

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Blurred Lines: The State of the Art of Art

Barry Avrich and Jonas Prince have created the most concise feature documentary about the current art world possible. In Blurred Lines they interview critics, players, observers, and, of course, artists all providing a myriad of perspectives, experiences, and opinions. Flashing in the background are the expected myriad images of the tokens

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Hired Gun: The Life and Times of Music’s ‘Side Men’

For documentary fans, comparisons of Fran Strine’s Hired Gun and Morgan Neville’s ‘Twenty Feet from Stardom’ are inevitable. ‘Twenty Feet’ covers female back-up vocalists in the studio and on tour. ‘Gun’ covers—with one exception—male musicians called ‘side men’ or

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Wormwood: MKUltra and the Death of Frank Olson

Frank Rudolph Olson died on November 28, 1953, when he fell from the 13th floor of Manhattan’s Hotel Statler. Olson was survived by his wife and three children. Legendary documentarian Errol Morris tells Olson’s tragic story in his six-part, four-hour Netflix film, Wormwood.

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The Pulitzer at 100

Produced and directed by Academy Award winner Simon Kirk, The Pulitzer at 100 celebrates The Pulitzer Prizes on the occasion of the hundredth year since its founding by Joseph J. Pulitzer. The film features three brilliantly interwoven layers: Writers speaking of their work, the Pulitzer awards, and the power of the written word; celebriti

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Cuba and the Cameraman: Forty-five Years and Two Hours in Cuba

Beginning in the early 1970s, prolific, well-lauded filmmaker Jon Alpert frequented Cuba with one of the earliest versions of a small, professional video camera/recorder. His focus was on the people—and Fidel. For forty-five years, Alpert was given seemingly unfettered access to Castro. The socialist dictator and the American media producer beca

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Kedi: The Wild Cats of Istanbul

Ceyda Torun’s Kedi explores the world of feral cats in Istanbul. According to one Istanbulian, Norwegian ships inadvertently deposited the felines there many years ago. There are now hundreds of thousands of cats roaming the metropolis. Torun’s focus is on the relationship between Istanbul’s cats and homo sapiens. The filmmaker follows several Istanbulians as t

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Extraordinary Ordinary People: Honoring Folk and Traditional Artists

Under the aegis of the Republican-threatened National Endowment for the Arts lives the National Heritage Fellowship—found

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Nothing Is Forgiven: The Story of France’s Most Protected Woman

Nothing Is Forgiven tells the story of Zineb El Rhazoui, a Moroccan journalist/activist who immigrated to France to escape her country’s oppressive regime. El Rhazoui found Charlie Hebdo, the Paris-based satirical weekly that was attacked on January 7, 2015. Twelve people were killed, 11 were injured—most were El Rhazou

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Cameraperson: The Shooter, The Shot, and The Viewer

Cameraperson is a unique documentary film consisting of clips from superstar documentary cinematographer Kirsten Johnson’s 25 years of work. The multilayered film is carefully crafted, and functions as travelogue, memoir, and philosophical statement on the relationship between filmmaker and subject. The film takes the viewer around the world,

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