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

Alone on the Island of the Blue Dolphins: The Truth Behind the Fiction

Scott O’Dell’s childrens book Island of the Blue Dolphins was published in 1960. Every November, half a million fourth graders read this classic tale of loss and survival. The book is a speculation of what life may have been like for a 12 year old girl stranded on San Nicolas Islan

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Forbidden Films & Hitler’s Hollywood: 2 Docs about Cinema and Propaganda in Wartime Germany

For history and war buffs, cinephiles, politicos, and other interested parties, Kino Lorber has released Hitler’s Hollywood by Rudiger Süchsland and ...Read More

Invisible Hands: The Destruction of Childhood

“Willfull ignorance”—That is the term one speaker in Shraysi Tandon’s Invisible Hands calls our attitude toward the use of 200 million children around the world to manufacture the products the ‘civilized’ world consumes with gleeful abandon. The hands, of course, are not invisible, we simply have y

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Robin Williams: Come Inside My Mind

“His pathos was seeking to entertain and please. He felt when he wasn’t doing that, he was not succeeding as a person, and that was hard to see. Because in so many senses, he is the most successful person I know, and yet he didn’t always feel that.” Zak Williams When Robin died I felt like I’d lost a beautiful friend I met in 1979, when I joined the rest of the world and bought his first record, ‘Reality... What A Concept’. Over the decades I’d

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All The Queen’s Horses: Small Town. Large Fraud. Global Problem.

Antisocial Personality Disorder: The presence of a chronic and pervasive disposition to disregard and violate the rights of others. Manifestations include repeated violations of the law, exploitation of others, deceitfulness, impulsivity, aggressiveness, reckless disregard for the safety of self and others, and irresponsibility, accompanied by lack of guilt, remorse, and empathy. It is among the most heavily researched of the personality disorders—a

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Antarctica: In the Footsteps of the Emperor

Antarctica: In the Footsteps of the Emperor contains three films on a 2-DVD set: “Antarctica: In the Footsteps of the Emperor” /// “Antarctica: Living on the Edge

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A Good American: The Odyssey of William Binney

Buried within the terabytes of data at one or more of Netflix’s server farms is the most incendiary documentary film I’ve seen to date: A Good American—a film about malfeasance, corruption, and ineptitude at our National Security Agency, and above. Director Friedrich Moser tells the story of a tragically terminated NSA program called ThinT

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The Farthest: Voyager In Space

Prologue: It is rare that I play a movie at home and not press pause. I did not press pause, nor avert my attention as I watched Emer Reynolds’ The Farthest—his feature documentary about the Voyager ...Read More

ACORN and the Firestorm: The Brief Tumultuous History of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now

“I think there’s bigger fish to fry out there than them.” Travis Munnerlyn In ACORN and the Firestorm, directors Reuben Atlas and Samuel D. Pollard present the history of ACORN focusing on the surreptitious video recording by Hannah Giles and James O'Keefe of a staged attempt to secure support from the organization in the creation of a brothe

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The Work: Intensive Group Therapy at Folsom Prison

“So, let’s remember Don, he talked about the intent. Right there, next to the wound, right there, next to the pain. When we go deep, when we go down to the bottom, right there next to where we hurt the most is where our medicine is at. Let’s remember that.” Group Therapy Participant at Folsom Prison Thirty miles north east of Sacramento, California, in an area called Represa, lies the legendary maximum security Folsom State Prison. Inside the prison is another

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