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

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

Senna: No Fear. No Limits. No Equal

August 17th, 2016

11196272_868986829831261_1957665495247873697_nDirected by narrative filmmaker Asif Kapadia, Senna is a biography of Brazilian Formula One racing legend Ayrton Senna. There are different approaches to or philosophies of documentary film production. Kapadia chose the track less traveled—he used archival footage exclusively to tell the racer’s jaw-dropping story. Senna...Read More

When Two Worlds Collide: Environmental Strife in Peru

August 14th, 2016

twc238-243_amaz_repsolprotest_cahuapanas_5149_23258117285_oIt is so easy to become inured to the travails of our world—necessary, some might say, in order to maintain one’s sanity. Our planet’s human population is rapidly approaching 9 billion. Hundreds of millions—if not more—already live in abject poverty. Economic, political, and social injustice reign supreme around the Earth. War and strife are endemic—as is the ongoing destruction of our ecosphere. ...Read More

Pelican Dreams: The Life and Times of Gigi the Pelican

August 13th, 2016

Pelican-Dreams-GigiJudy Irving, the producer/director/cinematographer/editor of the wildly successful The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill has given us another delightful avian-based documentary, Pelican Dreams ...Read More

Strange and Familiar: Architecture on Fogo Island

August 7th, 2016

Fogo Island is a small island, off a larger island, off the coast of Canada’s Newfoundland. item0.rendition.slideshowHorizontal.-1-Todd Saunders grew up there, as did Zita Cobb. Saunders is an architect who now lives in Norway. Cobb found success in her professional life, and wanted to benefit the people, community, and Island of Fogo. The island’s economy was based upon fish. Like many seas around our Earth, the sea around Fogo Island lost its ...Read More

Catching The Sun: One Fix for Two Global Maladies

July 27th, 2016

756752main_20130620-m2.9flare-orig_full Director Shalini Kantayya’s Catching the Sun addresses global warming and economic inequities by focusing on the use of solar power to reduce and eventually eliminate fossil fuels—more jobs, less pollution. Liberal icon Van Jones embodies the film’s thesis with the concept of ‘green jobs’—providing much needed solar energy-base ...Read More