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

Kangaroo: A Love-Hate Story

“Australia has the worst mammal extinction rate in the world. One out of three mammal extinctions in the last 400 years has occurred in Australia. Government raw survey data shows that wide landscapes are now significantly depleted of kangaroos. It is time to carefully assess what is happening to kangaroo, wallaby, and wallaroo species.” Senator Lee Rhiannon, The Greens Parliament of Australia ...Read More

Letter from Masanjia: The Epic Story of Sun Yi and Julie Keith

  “Everyone has aspirations. For me, freedom is more precious than anything else.” Sun Yi   Several years ago, Julie Keith purchased a Halloween decoration—a plastic tombstone—from Kmart. She did not open the box for two and a-half years. When she did, she discovered a hand-written letter attached to its back. That discovery is the inciting event for ...Read More


“If you’re human, you have bias. Just like we breathe, we have bias. It’s part of who we are. When it becomes completely unconscious, we have no idea how it’s affecting our behavior.” Howard Ross, author of Everyday Bias In Bias, Marin County's Robin Hauser explores the phenomenon of bias, with a focus on racial and gender bias, and an emphasis

...Read More

Liyana: An African Story

“When people remember about Liyana, I want them to remember us, making our own words.” Young African Child We are in Swaziland, also known as The Kingdom of Eswatini, at an orphanage the children of which lost their parents to AIDS, drugs, and violence. We are in a small classroom, poet/story-teller ...Read More

John Leguizamo’s Latin History for Morons

Netflix’s John Leguizamo’s Latin History for Morons is the finest work of stand-up comedy I have enjoyed since the days of Pryor and Carlin. Leguizamo tells three stories in one—a brief history of Europe’s destruction of Western native cultures, a story about his relationshi

...Read More

Dirt Rich: The Power of Regenerative Agriculture

“You have to get back to the natural systems, and let nature heal the Earth for us. Everyone has a role to play in converting to regenerative agriculture. Consumers could lead that movement.” Steven Ferrell, co-owner, general manager of Finca Luna Nueva, in Costa Rica With ...Read More

Living in the Future’s Past: What Kind of Future Would You Like to See?

“In this beautifully photographed tour de force of original thinking, Academy Award winner Jeff Bridges shares the screen with scientists, profound thinkers and a dazzling array of Earth’s living creatures to reveal eye-opening concepts about ourselves and our past, providing fresh insights into our subconscious motivations and their unintended consequences. "...Read More

From Baghdad to The Bay: The Epic Odyssey of Ghazwan Alsharif

“I lost my family, I lost my country, I lost my career, I lost everything.” From Baghdad to The Bay follows Iraqi Ghazwan Alsharif on a years-long, harrowing journey from his homeland to the San Francisco Bay Area. Subsequent to the 2003 US invasion of Iraq, Alsharif became an interpreter and guide for the US m

...Read More

How Hot Is It Going to Get?: “The Climate Crisis is a Voting Crisis”

How Hot Is It Going to Get? is two movies in one: An expertly produced primer on human-caused global warming, and a plea for young people of the United States to vote Democratic every two years. The implicit assumption is a Democratically-driven government would take meaningful, effective steps to reduce the inev

...Read More

Weed The People: Cannabis and Pediatric Cancer

“I just find it absolutely staggering to accept that in this day and age, with the billions of dollars spent on cancer research, that the medicine that we were relying upon is made in somebody’s kitchen.” Mother of Young Cancer Patient Produced by the filmmaking team of Ricki Lake and Abby Epstein, Weed The People explores the

...Read More