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

Chely Wright: Wish Me Away

Not being connected to the worlds of pop culture or country music, I’d never heard the name, ‘Chely Wright.’ Sitting in a stack of two dozen documentary screeners all waiting to be viewed and reviewed was this screener with the title, Chely Wright: Wish Me Away; and at the top of the case the words: 'A Nashville Star Comes Out An

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Jodorowsky’s Dune: A Passionate Artist Confronts Hollywood

  alejandro_jodorowsky Frank Pavich uses his lengthy interview of filmmaker Alejandro Jodorowsky as the spine of his documentary, Jodorowsky’s Dune, to tell the story of the filmmaker’s attempt to secure Hollywood’s support in the making of his interpretation of Frank Herbert’s ultra-classic science fiction novel, Dune. Sever

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Between the Folds: Origami Evolving

3da-intel-paper-panther-hiRes Vanessa Gould’s documentary Between the Folds is an exquisite work of art about exquisite works of art—and their creators. Gould interviews 16 origami artists, and at least one paper maker, presenting their complet

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Kumpanìa: Flamenco Los Angeles

a69bbf2d29fd380bbda485f75de43bf8Kumpanìa is Katina Dunn’s exhilarating documentary about the flamenco community in Los Angeles, California. Dunn interviews the dancers, singers, players and cultural historians. She provides astounding performances of music, voice, and dance. Narrator  Bruce Bisenz is our ho

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Trust: Second Acts in Young Lives

Produced by Marin County, California filmmakers Nancy Kelly and Kenji Yamamoto, Trust deftly weaves several stories. We learn about the founding and work of the Albany Park Theater Company in Chicago. Working with adolescents, David Feiner and ...Read More

The Art of the Steal

The Art of the Steal is an elaborate game of Clue, only instead of figuring out who murdered who, with what weapon, in which room; it’s who destroyed one man’s beatific vision, with what tactics, in which jurisdiction? art_of_the_steal The film opens with these words: “In 1922 Albert C. Barnes, M.D., created the Barnes Foundation in Lower Merion, Pe

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Particle Fever: The Search for the Higgs boson

Released theatrically in 2014, Particle Fever documents the search for ‘the God particle’—the Higgs boson, the discovery of which would ‘explain everything’—at the Swiss-based Large Hadron Collider. ATLAS_Detector Like Ron Howard’s Apollo 13 and every biographical, historical, and biblical movie ever made, we know the end of Particle

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An Unreal Dream: The Michael Morton Story

I’m not a critic. I don’t criticize films, I review them. And I only review a film if, for any one reason, I recommend it. With rare exception, I review only documentary films. I review them because I hold the conviction that our world will be a better place if and when very large numbers of people see and respond to these films. UnrealDreamCover-lo-res<

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a woman like that: a portrait of artemisia gentileschi

artemisia-gentileschi-1-sizeda woman like that is a dual focus documentary primarily focusing on the life and work of 17th century Italian female artist Artemisia Gentileschi. The secondary focus is on the film’s maker, Ellen Weissbrod who introduces her film by telling of her 30-year career making other people’s ideas, and of

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9000 Needles

9000 Needles is a simple, straight-forward story which has a profound 9000-Needles-Poster_OM-Timesimpact on the viewer – and equally profound implications about our American healthcare system. It is the story of Devin Dearth. The film’s website introduces Dearth’s life elegantly. “At forty years old, Devin Dearth is a succes

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