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

3½ Minutes, Ten Bullets: ‘Stand Your Ground’ on Trial Again

3-1-2-minutes-1920Directed and shot by Marc Silver, 3½ Minutes, Ten Bullets is an HBO documentary film which covers Florida’s ‘Stand Your Ground’ law via yet another in

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Dogs on the Inside: Everyone Deserves a Second Chance

DogsProduced, shot, and edited by Brean Cunningham and Douglas Seirup, Dogs on the Inside tells the story of a prison program in Massachusetts called Don’t Throw Us Away that pairs prisoners with rescue dogs. In addition to bonding with the dogs, the

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Bolshoi Babylon: Trouble at a Global Icon

Directed and shot by Nick Read, Bolshoi Babylon is a sensational, visually ecstatic documentary which covers dark times at the legendary Bolshoi, located Anastasiya+Meskova+002500 meters from The Kremlin.

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How to Smell a Rose: A Visit with Ricky Leacock at his Farm in Normandy

_c8856bwOHlppkCbenf5TcBmv1lNDuw0bUt8Hrs50S0Co-directed by Gina Leibrecht and Les Blank, How to Smell a Rose is an hour spent with legendary filmmaker Richard Leacock. The primary foc

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Making Rounds: Listening to the Patient

I walked out of the faux clinic room where I had just completed another day’s work as a Standardized Patient, assisting in the training and evaluation of medical students at the University of California San Francisco. It was 2003, and I was new to this work and its world. sklaroff_fusterI was still gowned up when Bernie, my boss, asked me if I was available

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Reel Injun: On the Trail of the Hollywood Indian

On, May 23, 2011, documentary filmmaker Neil Diamond received the Peabody Award for his film Reel Injun at Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, in New York, New York. How many people have seen this film? Even heard of it? The eternal questions and the dilemma for those who make and those who love seeing documentary films. ...Read More

Very Semi-Serious: A Partially Thorough Portrait of New Yorker Cartoonists

It’s automatic. I walk in the doctor’s office, look around for issues of The New Yorker magazine, make sure I’ve not viewed them before at some other office, and proceed to read each and every cartoon. VERY_SEMI_SERIOUS_StillAfter decades of my clichéd reading behavior, I found this gem by first-time feature director Leah Wolchok on HBO

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Petals in the Dust: The Endangered Indian Girls

Preface: My number one issue is our environment—our ecosphere and its ongoing, out-of-control destruction by human beings. The denigration of the human female gender is a close second. PetalsDirected by first-time feature filmmaker Nyna Pais Caputi, Petals in the Dust is the most devastating film on our treatm

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Greenwich Village: Music that Defined a Generation

So I asked Celia, does ‘nostalgia’ mean you long for a previous time and place in your own life, or can you be nostalgic for a time and place you did not inhabit. After our discussion I did the obvious: 1800319_666839260045586_2030847049_nnostalgia: a wistful desire to return in thought or in fact to a form

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1971: A Small Act, A Giant Impact

Johanna Hamilton’s documentary, 1971, tells the story of the break-in and burglary of a local FBI office in Media, Pennsylvania, in... well, you know what year it was in. CaptureCalling themselves the Citizens’ Commission to Investigate the FBI, ​a small g

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