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

Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead 2: More Juice from Joe Cross

Defying convention, Joe Cross has produced a documentary sequel. With 2010’s Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead Cross introduced his story-line of a successful Australian businessman who is overweight, suffering from an auto-immune disease and its attendant pharmaceuticals, and cruisin’ for a heart attack. He decides to go on a stint of joe_cross_afterconsuming onl

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InRealLife: The Downside of the Internet

With InRealLife accomplished filmmaker Beeban Kidron has made a powerful documentary highlighting the dark side of the confluence of the internet, children, and portable digital devices. She interviews teenagers about their use of the internet, and hears from authorities about the nature of this global network. Her journey of discovery takes her to Silicon Valley, and network hub points around the world. IRL ...Read More

Little White Lie: Lacey Schwartz Confronts Her Origin

Filmmaker Lacey Schwartz was raised in a Jewish, white, upper-middle-class home. Her dark skin was attributed to a Sicilian grandfather, but was actually the result of her mother’s affair with an African American. Little White Lie documents her childhood and her search for answers to her racial identity and her father’s identity. Lacey-2Schwartz weaves together a trove of

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Monk with a Camera: The Journeys of Nicholas Vreeland

Monk with a Camera is a delightful, engaging, and fascinating documentary about the life and times of Nicholas Vreeland who is the first westerner to become an Abbott of a Tibetan Buddhist monastery. NickyVreelandThe son of an American ambassador and grandson of legendary Vogue editor Diana Vreeland, ‘Nicky’ was raised in a variety of places around th

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David Wants to Fly: David Sieveking’s Inner and Outer Journeys

This is the fun of reviewing documentaries. The title is David Wants to Fly. That’s all I know. It could be anything. I’m not even sure it’s a documentary. What do you think it’s going to be? littledavidwantstoflyI’m instantly transported to contemporary Germany. A handsome young man, David Sieveking, and his beautiful girlfriend, Marie Po

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My Kidnapper: Retracing Terror

In 2003, eight tourists hiking the beautiful Columbian mountains became statistics when they joined the countless others who have been kidnapped. Among the eight was British television producer Mark Henderson. One tourist escaped. The rest were held captive for 3 months. my-kidnapper-645-75Nine months after his release Henderson received an email from ‘Antoni

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Monumental: David Brower’s Fight For Wild America

“We weren’t trying to get anything our way; we wanted it that way for our descendents, for the rest of the world.” Unidentified Interviewee Monumental is a biography of environmental pioneer and warrior David Brower – plus partial outlines of the histories of the American environmental movement and The Sierra Club. Environmentalist David BrowerBrower was born in

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Bhutan: Taking the Middle Path to Happiness

“Can Bhutan emerge from the process of modernization with its environment and culture intact?” That’s the primary question posed by Bhutan, the second documentary film I’ve had the pleasure to view from John Wehrheim and Bob Stone. Like their Taylor Camp, Bhutan is a visually ecstatic film which I’d love to see on the big screen, Blu-ray, or 4K. Mo-Chhu-</p> 
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Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work

“God help the next Queen of Comedy ‘cause this one’s not abdicating.” Billy Sammeth In the ever-expanding cosmos of documentaries this is one title I would not have chosen to view. But peer pressure held sway. The simple fact that several people who know my penchant for movies as well as my interest in documentaries drove my ego-dystonic decision to view the screener. JRAnd, of course, they we

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Homeless: The Motel Kids of Orange County

“The worst place where I ever slept in was the bushes.” Rudee, Age 6 Prolific documentary filmmaker Alexandra Pelosi and her crew are hanging out at a motel walking distance from Disneyland. They are observing and speaking with homeless children and their families who live in this semi-urban purgatory set in one of the wealthiest counties in the United States of America. 232893_Homles_CMYK_f.ind</p> 
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