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

Capital in the Twenty-First Century

'capital' — the wealth--whether in money or property--owned or employed in business by an individual, firm, corporation, etc.’ Directed by Justin Pemberton, and based on Thomas Piketty’s book, Capital in the Twenty-First Century, the documentary Capital in the Twenty-First

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The Fight: Goliath, Meet David

"All I've ever known how to do is fight. And so we just keep fighting, and even though we're tired, and know it's exhausting and maddening, it's what we do." ACLU Staff Attorney Directed by Eli B. Despres, Josh Kriegman, Elyse Steinber, The Fight introduces the work of the American Civil Liberties Un

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John Lewis: Good Trouble

“And I know that if John Lewis as a nineteen, twenty year-old, wasn’t doing what he did, I would not be here today.” Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez After reading, seeing, and hearing about the life and work of John Lewis over the past six decades, when his name comes to mind now, or appears anywhere within sight, I automatically add ‘legend’ to his name. The words, sounds, images and stories that emerge from Dawn Porter’s ...Read More

Incarcerating US

“From 1920, until 1970, this whole half-century of American history, the rate of incarceration was roughly level, at about 110 per 100,000. This is a broad spam of our history—the Roaring Twenties, prohibition, the Depression and all the social change there, World War II, the post-war economic boon, the Fifties, the explosion of suburbia, the Sixties and all the social turbulence. During this whole period the rate of incarceration is roughly level in the Unit

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The Cordillera of Dreams

A ‘cordillera’ is an extensive chain of mountains or mountain ranges. Mountain ranges of this type have a complex structure, usually the result of folding and faulting accompanied by volcanic activity. In South America the ranges include numerous volcanic peaks. The definition above is of a generic noun. Legendary writer/director Patricio Guzmán capitalizes the ‘C’ because he is referring to the specific Cordillera in his home country of Chile

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Written and directed by Thomas D. Herman, and narrated by Sam Waterston, Dateline-Saigon profiles the work of five Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists who, as young, naive men, found themselves in the early 1960s covering the nascent American war in Vietnam. The five are: Peter Arnett, Malcolm Browne, David Halberstam, Horst Faas, and Neil

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Queen without Land

“When I look out this window which had been chewed by polar bears, both from the outside and inside, I think maybe I belong to the last generation who will see a polar bear walking on the ice outside.” Asgeir Helgestad Asgeir Helgestad is a prolific, multi-talented wildlife cameraman from Norway. For more than 20 years his second home—and the location of this film’s production—has been on Svalbard, a group of islands between Norway and the North Po

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Ursula von Rydingsvard: Into Her Own

Directed and shot by Daniel Traub, with music by Simon Taufique, Ursula von Rydingsvard: Into Her Own introduces the artist, her life’s path, and her sensational work—all in under an hour. The film’s website describes von Rydingsvard as one of the few women in the world working in ‘monumental sc

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arrangiarsi: Pizza… and the Art of Living

“Before bringing me to meet her family in Italy, my mother told me, ‘you will find out who you really are.’” Matteo Troncone   Had my mentor David Hakim not shared arrangiarsi: Pizza... and the Art of Living I would have never experienced the joy of Matteo Troncone’s cinematic ode to

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Land of Little Rivers

Aaron Weisblatt’s Land of Little Rivers introduces the worlds of trout fly fishing. In a very short 90 minutes the film introduces a growing community of people dedicated to this particular approach to fishing—one which demands hard-earned expertise and infinite patience, along with therapeutic benefits. From th

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