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

Act of God: Meditations on Lighting, Life, and Chance

With exquisite cinematography Act of God explores the relationship between randomness and meaning through six stories of lightning strikes and one about brainwaves which are an artifact of neural activity, which, in turn, is an analog of lightning. ACT-o-God-picDirector Jennifer Baichwal and cinematographer/husband Nick de Pencier went around the world making what

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In No Great Hurry: 13 Lessons in Life with Saul Leiter

Nearing the end of his life, in his late 80s, Saul Leiter is gracefully suffering a man with a video camera following him around his home and in the streets, asking annoying questions. in_no_great_hurryWearing baggy clothes, and laughing frequently, the legendary fine art photographer indulges his interlocutor with thoughts and feelings of himself, photography, pe

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Ilya and Emilia Kabakov: ENTER HERE

Produced and directed by Amei Wallach, Ilya and Emilia Kabakov: ENTER HERE is primarily a profile of Russian-born Ilya Kabakov. I write ‘primarily’ because wife Emilia is both a creative partner and helps with business and other dealings with the outside world. She has much to say. The film also includes portions of a long letter to Ilya from his mother presented via voice-over. Ilya Kabakov in s</p> 
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Perfect Strangers: one gently used kidney – free to a good home

Through happenstance Ellie Edwards learned – in great detail – of the dire need for human kidney donors. She decided to donate one of her kidneys – motivated by nothing more or less than altruism. Edwards learned about the system of kidney donors and recipients, and found Kathy who had been receiving dialysis for many dt.common.streams.StreamServer ...Read More

The Desert of Forbidden Art: Risking All for Art

Rich in imagery, idea, story, character, Russian art, and 20th Century Soviet history, like the masterpieces it covers The Desert of Forbidden Art is a masterpiece of documentary filmmaking. Forbidden 2Written, produced, and directed by Amanda Pope and Tchavdar Georgiev, the film tells the story of Russian artist Igor Savitsky who rescued 40,000 works of ar

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Laura Poitras’s Citizenfour tells the harrowing story of Edward Snowden’s release of highly classified U.S. government documents to journalists. The release was extensively covered by media in the United States and globally. Poitras’s widely acclaimed film is having an unusual release. It is both an HBO documentary, a theatrical release, and has already had broad exposure on the film ...Read More

somewhere between: Chinese Orphaned Females Adopted by U.S. Parents

There are soooo many great documentary films that should be seen by everybody, and somewhere between is one of them. Some documentaries include introductory text. Here’s this film’s: header-500“China’s ‘One Child Policy’ was implemented in 1979. As a result, hundreds of thousands of babies were abandoned, mostly girls.175,000 live in countries worldwide.

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Rosie O’Donnell: A Heartfelt Stand-Up

Has anyone else noticed this irony? That in a nation so magnificently obsessed with breasts, the one women’s disease on which we chose to focus is breast cancer. How many times outside your home and in the media have you seen the phrase, ‘breast cancer’? 3Instigated by my mother’s untimely death from easily preventable heart disease, I began to wonder, ‘What about other diseases that inj

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Life itself: The Only Thing Roger Loved More Than Movies

When we watch episodic television shows – anything from local news programs through commercial-free 90 minute episodes of European series – the characters Life-Itselfbecome part of our own extended families. The more entertaining and impactful the show, the more we watch it, the deeper our relationship to those characters. When ground-breaking “Hill Street Blues” completed

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Chris & Don: A Love Story

Directed and edited by the filmmaking team of Tina Mascara and Guido Santi, Chris and Don: A Love Story documents the epic 30-year love story of Don Bachardy and Christopher Isherwood. Bachardy is a prolific portrait artist, and Isherwood, the legendary writer whose book, Berlin Stories, was the genesis of the Chris_DonBroadway play and subsequent film, Cabaret ...Read More