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

Earth Made of Glass: Post-Genocide Rwanda

Initially cablecast by HBO, Earth Made of Glass opens with a quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson: "There is no den in the wide world to hide a rogue. Commit a crime and the earth is made of glass." EARTHThe rogue here is France, which this film states was complicit in the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, in which one million people were killed. Co-written, co-produced, and directed by Deborah Scranton

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Far Out Isn’t Far Enough: The Tomi Ungerer Story    

It’s happened again, I’ve seen a documentary film that is documentary filmmaking at its finest. Written, produced, and directed by accomplished documentarian Brad Bernstein, Far Out Isn’t Far Enough presents the life and times of artistic genius Tomi Ungerer. I am as excited by the brilliance of Bernstein’s filmmaking as I am by the raging genius and epic biography of Jean-Thomas "Tomi" Ungerer. faro</p> 
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Eames: The Architect and the Painter

First of all, I thought the name, 'Eames,' in the title referred to some guy who's really talented and made a name for himself as both an architect and a painter. eames_slidesNote the obvious sexism, of course, in my first thought. Note, also, I never heard or read the name, 'Eames,' until I saw the title in an email from First Run Features, the distributor of Eames: The A

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Elemental: Three Environmental Activists

It was 1954, in Charleston, South Carolina. I was 6 years old. This is the first film I remember seeing at a movie theater. FILMROUNDUP6-articleLargeA small boat in the ocean, with a captain, one harpoon gun, and a small crew. It’s a whaling boat. The boat comes upon a whale, but this whale’s different – he stands up on his tail, supported by

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bag it: is your life too plastic?

‘Bag it’ refers to the request of someone to put something in a bag. The term also refers to the request of someone to someone else to stop thinking or doing something. beachflat_0As I type these words I have two cabinets filled with the plastic grocery bags I’ve been hoarding over the last two years knowing that the ban is coming. It’s come. Like most people, but

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Fall to Grace: Jim McGreevey Transforms His Life

On August 12, 2004, New Jersey Governor Jim McGreevey appeared on national television, with his wife at his side, and announced he is a ‘gay American’ – and his resignation. This was the death of a political career that had presidential potential. MSN Wonderwall At ChefDance - Day 3 - 2013 Park CityDirected, produced, and filmed by the prolific Alexandra Pelosi, Fall to

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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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