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

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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Kevorkian: An Intimate Portrait

“Jack presented the facts; we chose not to listen to him.” Neal Nicol Kevorkian, an HBO documentary, covers the later life of right-to-die champion Jack Kevorkian, M.D. Directed by Matthew Galkin, it is a companion piece to the HBO narrative You Don’t Know Jack starring Al Pacino, and directed by Barry Levinson. JK ...Read More

Taylor Camp: A Timeless Time  

The cultural explosions of the legendary and now mythical sixties were too numerous and varied, too wide and deep to be captured in toto in any one documentary or narrative film. The best that can be done is to cover individual facets of the revolutions – and hopefully a body of work will eventually emerge to taylor-camp-kauai-kevin-smithform

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Bidder 70: Birth of an Activist

Well, I can’t compete. I can’t put the introduction to this film more succinctly than the film’s DVD case: “Winner of 20 festival awards, 'Bidder 70' is Tim DeChristopher, the student who monkey-wrenched the 2008 fraudulent Bureau of Land Management Oil and Gas Lease Auction. Bidding 1.8 million to save 22,000 Timacres of pristine Utah wilderness surrounding Arches and Canyonlands Nationa

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