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

Seeing Allred: The Life and, Especially, Times of Gloria Allred

Through either intention or serendipity, the February 9, 2018 release of Roberta Grossman’s and Sophie Sartain’s Seeing Allred is perfectly timed. The issue of women’s rights is reaching deeper into American culture, media, and the halls of corporate/governmental power. The impact of attorney Gloria Allred’s lifetime of crusading fo

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Joan Didion: The Center Will Not Hold

Griffin Dunne’s biographical documentary about his aunt Joan is a bolt of lightning that pierces the heart, gut, and soul. That is how I felt at film’s conclusion as I sat stunned reflecting on the personal challenges and losses prolific writer Joan Didion faced with grace, dignity, and inspiration to write for us her experiences and learning. In ...Read More

Beyond Iconic: Photographer Dennis Stock

Beyond Iconic is Hanna Sawka’s introduction to the work and thought of Dennis Stock, a photographer who, by the way, opines that the word, ‘iconic,’ is overused. Sawka provides an outline of Stock’s biography,

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City of Ghosts: Either We Will Win, or They Will Kill All of Us

City of Ghosts covers a group of citizen journalists from the now-infamous Syrian town of Raqqa who cover the takeover of their region by ISIS aggressors. The dozen or so men call themselves Raqqa Is Being Slaughtered

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Injecting Aluminum

Produced in France, directed by Marie-Ange Poyet, and distributed by Burbank’s Cinema Libre Studio, Injecting Aluminum provides viewers with all the information needed to chose not to have themselves and their children inoculated with vaccines containing aluminum. Poyet intervi

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Eve’s Apple: Ending Female Genital Mutilation

Around the world six girls a minute suffer the horrors of female genital mutilation (FGM). Eve’s Apple reveals the depth of this global horror, and highlights initiatives to stop it. The film features interviews with those who have suffered this brutal, lethal insult to women’s bodies and minds, a

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Blurred Lines: The State of the Art of Art

Barry Avrich and Jonas Prince have created the most concise feature documentary about the current art world possible. In Blurred Lines they interview critics, players, observers, and, of course, artists all providing a myriad of perspectives, experiences, and opinions. Flashing in the background are the expected myriad images of the tokens

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Hired Gun: The Life and Times of Music’s ‘Side Men’

For documentary fans, comparisons of Fran Strine’s Hired Gun and Morgan Neville’s ‘Twenty Feet from Stardom’ are inevitable. ‘Twenty Feet’ covers female back-up vocalists in the studio and on tour. ‘Gun’ covers—with one exception—male musicians called ‘side men’ or

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Wormwood: MKUltra and the Death of Frank Olson

Frank Rudolph Olson died on November 28, 1953, when he fell from the 13th floor of Manhattan’s Hotel Statler. Olson was survived by his wife and three children. Legendary documentarian Errol Morris tells Olson’s tragic story in his six-part, four-hour Netflix film, Wormwood.

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The Pulitzer at 100

Produced and directed by Academy Award winner Simon Kirk, The Pulitzer at 100 celebrates The Pulitzer Prizes on the occasion of the hundredth year since its founding by Joseph J. Pulitzer. The film features three brilliantly interwoven layers: Writers speaking of their work, the Pulitzer awards, and the power of the written word; celebriti

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