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

It's an emerging documentary genre, Getting Healthy: May I Be Frank, about an overweight unhappy guy, befriended by a small health-conscious team, recreates himself and his life. 9000 Needles, about a remarkably healthy and fit young man who suffers a massive stroke, and who finally finds help at a facility in China. fsnd_press_8Joe Cross, our hero in F

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Guy Martin: Portrait of a Grand Chef

What a fascinating, intriguing, inspiring character Guy Martin is! He became a master chef at a young age, has maintained his 'rank' for many years at France's Le Grand Véfour, hosts tastings for children at that legendary restaurant to introduce them to fine cuisine, and in spite of all that, he must be somewhat somber at the moment—April, 2011. guymartin_flat ...Read More

Hey, Boo: Harper Lee and “To Kill a Mockingbird”

Published on July 11, 1960, Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird remains a bestseller. Nearly one million copies sold each year, translated into more than forty languages, Pulitzer Prize, the instant-classic film of the instant-classic book won three Academy Awards. This was Harper Lee's first and last published book. FILE PHOTO:  50th Anniversary Edition Of The 1962 Fi</p> 
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Herblock: The Black and the White

Many documentaries shoot, of necessity, with low budgets, and in cinema vérité – a visual approach used now in countless film and television productions. HerblockAnd some documentary films are carefully crafted. They may feature distinguished people speaking in distinguished settings with archival material presented in elegant manners. These films are produced with larg

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I’m Dangerous with Love

I'm Dangerous with Love accomplishes all that a standard-bearing documentary should. Michel Negroponte's film takes us to places we've never been, provides information we've never known, and tells the Hero's story of Dimitri Mugianis. dangerous_with_love_03...Read More

How Much Does Your Building Weigh, Mr. Foster?

It is a given that a documentary film that covers the life and work of a legendary, globally-based architect must be produced with quality commensurate with the architect's work. The filmmakers of How Much Does Your Building Weigh, Mr. Foster have met that criterion in covering the life and accomplishments of Norman Foster. norman-foster-29414.xl_<

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His Way: The Life and Times of Jerry Weintraub

His Way opens with a series of quick cuts of famous people sharing observations of legendary Hollywood producer Jerry Weintraub. They sketch a portrait of a man equally noble and ignoble – depending on your perspective and, especially, on which of his two lists you're on. his-way-1024 Douglas McGrath directs this affectionate look at Weintraub who – with his J

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Into the Arms of Strangers

Winner of the 2000 Oscar for best feature documentary, Into the Arms of Strangers tells of the humanitarian exodus, in 1938-1939, of children from Germany, Austria, and Czechoslovakia to The United Kingdom. Strangers #1 (1)The transport was initiated and supported by the people and government of Great Britain. Ten thousand children were saved by the ‘Kindertrans

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A Model for Matisse: The Story of Henri Matisse, Sister Jacques-Marie and the Vence Chapel

Produced for television in 2003,  A Model for Matisse is a sweet, simple, gratifying story of the friendship between the aging artist and 21-year old nursing student Monique Bourgeois – who eventually became Sister Jacques-Marie. 435375-a-model-for-matisse-filmThe two met in Nice, in 1941, when Matisse was recovering from canc

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Daddy I Do

Cassie Jaye's Daddy I Do opens with a close-up of a beautiful young woman sensually painting lipstick on her lips. Stevie Ray Vaughn's "You Better Leave My Little Girl Alone" smothers the scene with its hot-and-heavy moaning guitar. Cut to a handsome, middle-age, clean shaven man tying his tie. Both are at home, Still1preparing for a ceremony, a Pledge of Purity, to be conducted a

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