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

The Best Democracy Money Can Buy: A Tale of Billionaires & Ballot Bandits

October 3rd, 2016

greg-palast-3Written, directed, and starring Greg Palast, The Best Democracy Money Can Buy is another look at the usurpation of the United States’ government—and many states’ governments—by the wealthy and powerful. The film is as entertaining as it is infuriating. Palast portrays an amalgam of journalist and noir film detective as he doggedly seeks the per ...Read More

Talent Has Hunger: Seven Students, Seven Years

September 25th, 2016

jackie-plays-at-the-juries_cuJosh Aronson’s Talent Has Hunger follows legendary cello teacher Paul Katz and a group of students over a period of seven years. The film is a rare opportunity and treat to experience the depth and breadth of skills required to master an instrument, and the dedication it takes to stay with the challenges of learning and changing over so many years—let ...Read More

How to Dance in Ohio: ‘We like to socialize, but we don’t know how.’

September 23rd, 2016

Whatever the etiology, the number of children who develop autism has increased dramatically, if not exponentially. This tragic phenomenon has created an inevitable subculture—with micro-cultures within that subculture. One of those sub-subcultures is individuals ‘on the higher functioning end of the autism spectrum.’ htdio-still-5How to Dance in Ohio follows a group of adolescents who receive a variety of serv ...Read More

You See Me: Forgiveness Is Relative

September 20th, 2016

stanley-natalie-linda-and-susan-brown-reading-pa-scaledYou See Me is a documentary film about the filmmaker’s family. Veteran documentarian Linda J. Brown tells her family’s story. She is searching for meaning, understanding, and resolution in the lifelong dynamics of this family. Her father, Stanley, is the central character, the central mystery. Brown uses interview, n ...Read More

Shamans of the Global Village

September 15th, 2016

Directed by Niles Heckman and hosted by Rak Razam, Shamans of the Global Village covers the resurgence of shamanistic practices in the West. Each episode will cover a shaman and a particular ethnogenic medicine she or he incorporates in their practice. The series’ planned episodes are listed below. sgv_bio_namastdave-3The first episode—premier date is October 1, 2016—features Dr. Octavio Rettig, a medical s ...Read More

Enter the Faun: The Transformation of Gregg Mozgala

September 15th, 2016

First Run Features’ Enter the Faun is about two subjects: The creation of a dance piece and the transformation of Gregg Mozgala’s body and mind. Mozgala is an actor, playwright, artistic director, and has cerebral palsy. enter-the-faunTamar Rogoff is a prolific choreographer who specializes ...Read More

In Search of the Great Song: Fifty voices. Twelve Countries. One Question

September 4th, 2016

Alex3photo‘the Great Song’ in Michael Stillwater’s beatific In Search of the Great Song is a metaphor, a reference to the sacred, to the spiritual connections with our world, to the grace and dignity of nature, and to the power of music, voice and sound.   Fitzpatrick...Read More

Requiem for the American Dream: Noam Chomsky and Ten Principles of Concentration of Wealth & Power

September 2nd, 2016

unspecifiedFimmakers Peter D. Hutchison, Kelly Nyks and Jared P. Scott have taken interviews of legendary author/speaker/activist Noam Chomsky and woven them into a coherent narrative of the corruption of our American socio-economic-political systems. In addition to being a requiem, the film is also a post mortem—descriptions of the strategies and tactics that have transformed the United States of America into an oligarchy. The Ten Principles are: Reduce Democracy Shape Ideology Redesign the Economy ...Read More

Seed: The Untold Story

August 30th, 2016

SEED_Still_5When Jon Betz and Taggart Siegel make a film, it is a must-see. They’ve given us The Real Dirt on Farmer John and Queen of the Sun—strong, hard-hitting films about agriculture. Their latest, Seed: The Untold Story, is both inspiring and demoralizing. The unhappy yet predictable aspect is the extent to which we have lost seeds. 94% o ...Read More

Colliding Dreams: Zionism and the Palestinians

August 22nd, 2016

thumbs_Arab-with-ChildJoseph Dorman’s and Oren Rudavsky’s documentary, Colliding Dreams is an objective exploration of the core Middle East conflict between Israel and its neighbors. The filmmakers use the ideas and history of Zionism as their springboard into this seemingly unending and hopeless conflict. ...Read More