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


Lucy the Human Chimp

Directed by well-lauded veteran filmmaker Alex Parkinson, Lucy the Human Chimp tells the epic story of a young woman’s devotion to the care of a chimpanzee who had been raised by psychologist Maurice Temerlin and his wife Jane as an experiment. Eventually, Lucy became unruly, and the couple made the painful decision to send he

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The Road Up

“For the first time in my life I can say I enjoy a job.” Cara Participant Directed by Greg Jacobs and Jon Siskel, The Road Up is a masterfully produced documentary about a Chicago-based program called 'Cara' which supports people who aspire to recreate their shattered lives in a healthy and fruitful manner. Cara’s centerpiece is a month-long ‘boot c

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The Walrus and the Whistleblower

Phil Demers was working as a trainer at Canada’s MarineLand, in Niagara Falls. The park decided to add walruses to their show. The first walrus, a baby, was named ‘Smooshi’—on account of her affectionate way of ‘shmooshing’ her face against Demers’. One day there was a need to draw blood. Demers was taking care of Smooshi as the veterinarian was in the process of preparing the draw when Smooshi’s eyes and Demers’ eyes met. The tw

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Can You Hear Us Now?: A Season in the Life of Wisconsin Politics

  • Can You Hear Us Now? is another painful reminder of democracy’s frailty, as well as a call for hope and change from inspiring candidates.
Director Jim Cricchi and writer Susan Peters of Twelve Letter Films tell this all-too-common story of the sabotage of American d

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Five Years North

Five Years North is a deeply moving, expertly produced film taking place in the world of U.S. immigration as seen by a young illegal immigrant (‘Luis’) who ended up in New York City, and as seen by Judy—a Cuban-American ICE Supervisory Detention and Deportation Officer who also lives in Luis' neighborhood. The inciting incident that led

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Elephant Refugees

The title says it all in Louise Hogarth’s Elephant Refugees. The film covers a lodge called Elephant Sands located in Africa’s dry, sandy, Kalahari woodlands of eastern Botswana. Created by founders Marie and Ben Moller in 2002, the

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All Light, Everywhere

All Light, Everywhere begins with the following narration: ‘At the back of the eye is the optic nerve. It connects the eye to the brain. The optic nerve receives no visual information. It’s a blind spot. At the exact point where the world meets the seeing of the world, we’re blind. We do not perceive this blind

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Assholes: A Theory

Directed and narrated by well-lauded veteran filmmaker John Walker, the flippantly titled Assholes: A Theory is a serious-as-a-heart-attack documentary film about rampant narcissism. The film is based upon the New York Times bestseller Assholes: A Theory by Aaron James who received his PhD from Harvard University, is a Pro

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The Divided Brain: The World Iain McGilchrist Wants Us to Live In

Iain McGilchrist is a former Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford, an associate Fellow of Green Templeton College, Oxford, a Fellow of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, a Consultant Emeritus of the Bethlem and Maudsley Hospital, London, a former research Fellow in Neuroimaging at Johns Hopkins University Medical School, Baltimore, and a former Fellow of the Institute of Advanced Studies in Stellenbosch. Note: A

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The Year Earth Changed

“The astonishing speed and variety of nature’s response [to the pandemic] has shown that even modest changes to our lives can make a vital difference to wildlife around the world.” Richard Attenborough Directed by Tom Beard, and hosted by Attenborough, The Year Earth Changed ...Read More