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

Sonic Sea: Saving Whales from Human Enterprise

“I listen to the world, and to me song is life. It is the essence of who we are. And, it joins us all.” Christopher W. Clark, Ph.D. Johnson Senior Scientist, Bioacoustics Research Program, Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology Directed by Michelle Dougherty and Daniel Hinerfeld, and narrated by Rachel McAdams, Soni

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Long Strange Trip: Jerry Garcia and The Grateful Dead

I write this review particularly for those who never heard of The Grateful Dead, never heard their music, and/or have preconceived notions and permanently installed negative attitudes toward the band. I certainly did. I was a progressive rock snob. It took a massive amount of peer pressure and a measure of life experience to see the band, to listen to their songs, to appreciate the immeasurable contribution this phenomenon has made to our world. Amazon’s ...Read More

HAPPENING: A Clean Energy Revolution

HAPPENING is James Redford’s most personal film, and I mean that literally. The veteran filmmaker hosts and narrates his journeys across America, and includes his daughter and wife in the story. Redford is making a point. Renewable energy

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Norwegian LDN Documentary: “I was the old Nansy again, (laughing) to the despair of some.”

Nansy was suffering from the deleterious effects of multiple sclerosis, she found the off-label drug Low Dose Naltrexone (LDN), and experienced a dramatic reduction of symptoms. Her doctors were skeptical: the result didn’t fit in with their world view of expensive, high-side-effect-laden treatments. Author Julia Schopick and I met on Facebook. She shared her book, ...Read More

HEAL: Mind-Body-Spirit

Written, produced and directed by Kelly Noonan Gores, HEAL takes the viewer on a journey through the natural healing and health world. At least 17 practitioners and experts are interviewed speaking of the many ways outside of conventional medicine that people are finding healing and wellness. Gores also interviews several patients who have expe

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Obit: To Make the Dead Live Again

From the film: “It’s counter-intuitive, ironic even, but obits have next to nothing to do with death—and, in fact, absolutely everything to do with the life.” __________________ Vanessa Gould is one of those documentary filmmakers who is not prolific. I’ve seen all two of her films: “Between the Folds” about origami, and now Obit abo

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Unacknowledged: An Exposé of the Greatest Secret in Human History

Unacknowledged is the second documentary about UFO/alien phenomena produced by Dr. Steven Greer, M.D. It is the most sophisticated, well-crafted f

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Dare to Drum: Music and Drama in Dallas, Texas

John Bryant’s Dare to Drum follows the creation of a piece of music entitled Gamelon D’Drum, described as a musical synthesis of pitch, rhythm, and orchestration, performed with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. D'Drum—a gro

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Unrest: The Hero’s Journey of Jennifer Brea

As documentary films go, it doesn’t get more powerful than this. A young woman—healthy, happy, intelligent, talented, Hollywood beautiful, married to a loving man, living an adventurous, exciting life—is struck down by a debilitating, apparently incurable disease. This young woman fights back. The disease is called myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) or chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). Medicine denied or ignored this disease, thus adding immeasurable suffering and loss

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Sea Gypsies: When Everything Goes Wrong, That’s When Adventure Starts

In Sea Gypsies writer/producer/director/cinematographer/editor Nico Edwards takes a ride in the Infinity, a 120 sailing ketch(1.). I write ‘in’ rather than ‘on’ because much of his on-camera narration is done from his room while suffering the effects of motion sickness. When not ill, Edwards’ cinematography is

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