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


Enemies of the State

The truth is rarely pure and never simple. Oscar Wilde I am as fascinated with the making of Sonia Kennebeck’s documentary Enemies of the State as I am of the story she’s told. The film’s three primary characters are parents Leann DeHart, Paul DeHart, and their son Matt. Leann and Paul were red–whi

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Picture of His Life

Written, produced, and directed by Dani Menkin andYonatan Nir, Picture of His Life profiles iconic—and very courageous—underwater photographer Amos Nachoum. The aging photographer has at least one more goal to fulfill—to be the first underwater photographer of polar bears. The film includes interviews of several

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Day One

There are 22.5 million refugees worldwide, over half of which are under the age of 18. From the Filmmaker: Day One follows a group of teens from war zones in the Middle East and Africa, as they are resettled in St. Louis, Missouri, and enrolled at a unique public school for refugees-only. Traumatized upon their arrival—having survived wa

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The Reunited States

“The greatest good we can do our country is to heal its party divisions and make them one people.” Thomas Jefferson Ben Rekhi’s The Reunited States is a very well-produced powerful film covering the political and racial divides that are damaging the very fabric of the United States. The documentary is inspired by 

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MEGAFIRES: Investigating a Global Threat

“We have very large airplanes, very large helicopters, lots of equipment on the ground, lots of people, fire engines—all of that, and there is no trend that we can see that indicates that we will ever be able to control extreme wildfires.” Jack Cohen, Research Physical Scientist, (Retired), Missoula Fire Sciences Laboratory, US Cosima Dannoritzer’s ...Read More

The Phenomenon: Making the Incredible Credible

Preface: epistemology—the theory of knowledge, especially with regard to its methods, validity, and scope. Epistemology is the investigation of what distinguishes justified belief from opinion. I have seen my fair share of documentaries about UFOs/aliens. Read a couple books, too, and watched a few seasons of Ancient Aliens. I’ve never seen either a UFO nor an alien, yet I have no doubt that they both exist, and that they ha

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David Attenborough: A Life on Our Planet

I rarely cover Netflix documentaries because,… well, they’re Netflix, and the streamer gives documentary films plenty of much-needed exposure. But, I do watch their documentary films, and this one, David Attenborough: A Life on Our Planet is one of those films that should be seen by the whole world. Attenborough is 93 years of age. He has had a magnificent and storied career covering the natural world. I’ve seen most, i

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Untouchable: Sex Offenders, the Law, and the Truth

Preface: I was about ten years of age, living with my parents and older brother in a middle-class neighborhood in Fort Lauderdale. I came upon something in our home that I never saw before—a magazine for teenagers. I was making a very cursory thumbing of pages when I was caught by an article about something bad that happened on a date. It was, of course, about a date-rape, but that term was not in common use at the time. When I finished the short piece I found myself feeling anger for the very first time in my short life. I was burning with internal rage that any man would do such a thing to any woman. ...Read More

Fly Like a Girl: Women in the Air and Beyond

Yours truly flew Cessna 150s and 172s out of Atlanta’s Fulton County Airport for four years in the 1960s. So, naturally, I must cover this much-needed documentary about women in aeronautics and space. It was well worth it. Katie McEntire Wiatt’s Fly Like a Girl opens with ...Read More

The Falconer

Rodney Stotts was born into a semi-impoverished community in the Maryland/DC region. His early life was on the streets, during a crack epidemic, losing friends and family to drugs and violence. He doesn’t look back or talk about it. Instead he talks about and demonstrates his work as a licensed master Falconer, as well as his environmental work cleaning up rivers with high school dropouts under the aegis of  ...Read More