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

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

...Read More

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

...Read More

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

...Read More

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

...Read More

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

...Read More

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

...Read More

Icarus: Truth Is the New Banned Substance

I prefer to go into a movie cold. At the most I will know the title and the genre. As I’ve written before, I value the experience of discovery in reading, hearing, and seeing stories. I went into Icarus cold. I was confused when I began watching this  ...Read More

Crop Circle Diaries: Placing the Circles in a Greater Context

Patty Greer’s films cover the phenomenon called ‘crop circle.’ I put the phrase in quotes because perfectly formed circles with elaborate designs have been found around the world in media other than agricultural crops. Greer covers the metaphysical, and films of this ilk tend to be viewed by those who are interested in such—also known as ‘preaching to the converted.’ Skeptics, of course, may watch these films in their quest to delegitimize both t

...Read More

Hesse and Glaser: Two Films, Two Artists

Thanks to Kino Lorber for sending two films about two artists who have little in common except for the power and impact of their work. Marcie Begleiter’s Eva Hesse covers Hesse’s tragically-shortened and previous

...Read More

Chasing Coral: The Die-Off of a Fundamental Ecosystem

Jeff Orlowski is a master at making films with images that are as exquisitely beautiful as they are horrific. With 2012’s Chasing Ice he covers the melting of glaciers and ice caps, and now with ...Read More