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

Mobilize: Everything You Never Wanted to Know About Cell Phones

September 22nd, 2014

Most of us know there’s a problem with the electro-magnetic radiation emitted by cell phones, and some of us take some measure of caution in our use of them. If you are one of those cell phone users who is not taking precautions, that state ofMobilize Still 1 affairs will end after you watch Kevin Kunze’s film, Mobilize. In its brief 84 minutes we learn about the latest research pointing out the long-te ...Read More

The Winding Stream: The Big Bang of Country Music

September 22nd, 2014

Documentary films have the power to bring us into worlds we never heard of, or barely know of—worlds we may have no interest in whatsoever. indexBut if we follow the filmmaker’s Yellow Brick Road we are amazed at how much fun it was, how fascinating and engaging—grateful we took the first step and kept walking. Directed by highly accomplished filmmaker Beth Harrington, The Wind ...Read More

The Horse Boy: A Family’s Quest for Healing

September 21st, 2014

The Horse Boy is about a Texas family: Kristin Neff, a professor of psychology; Rupert Isaacson, a journalist, human rights advocate and former horse trainer; and their son Rowan Isaacson who was diagnosed with autism at age two.Horseboy Rowan in Mongolia The origins of this documentary say as much about the filmmakers as the film itself. Director Michael Orion S ...Read More

Levitated Mass: A Moving Stone

September 20th, 2014

Prolific filmmaker Doug Pray’s Levitated Mass tells the story of the moving of amichael-heizers-levitated-mass-installation-at-lacma-1340410051_org rock from one place to another. The rock in question weighs 340 tons. It was moved from a southern California above-ground mining operation to the Los Angeles Mu ...Read More

Chely Wright: Wish Me Away

September 19th, 2014

Not being conchely-wright1-620x455nected 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 And Finds Her True Voice”. My attitude was cavalier, nonchalant – just another gay-related story. But I put it in the Blu-ray player and pres ...Read More

Jodorowsky’s Dune: A Passionate Artist Confronts Hollywood

September 19th, 2014

  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. Several other interested parties are interviewed for th ...Read More

Between the Folds: Origami Evolving

September 18th, 2014

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 completed works as well as works in progress. Although less than an hour long, Gould, who also narrates, has deftly filled this brief time wit ...Read More

Kumpanìa: Flamenco Los Angeles

September 18th, 2014

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 host – and a flamenco-loving photographer who has ...Read More

Trust: Second Acts in Young Lives

September 16th, 2014

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 David_Directing1Maggie Popadiak produce plays based on the teens’ experiences. Each young person in the theater troupe has a life story; this group of teens share these stories; ...Read More

The Art of the Steal

September 15th, 2014

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, Pennsylvania, five miles from the center of Philadel ...Read More