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

Weed and Wine: Two Crops, Two Families

Rebecca Richman Cohen’s feature documentary film Weed and Wine juxtaposes the viticulture of wine grapes in France, with the cannabis culture in the United States of America. In doing so the film features two families: the Jodrey’s of Humboldt County, in northern California; and the Thibon family in the Ardèche region of the Souther

...Read More

Los Hermanos / The Brothers

The brothers in Marcia Jarmel’s and Ken Schneider’s Los Hermanos / The Brothers are Ilmar and Aldo López-Gavilán. They were born in Havana in the 1970s to a long line of musical prodigies, and have well extended that line. Although the brothers took different physical paths, they have always been close, an

...Read More

Feels Good Man: The Hero’s Journey of Matt Furie

meme: 1. an element of a culture or system of behavior that may be considered to be passed from one individual to another by non-genetic means, especially imitation. 2. a humorous image, video, piece of text, etc., that is copied (often with slight variations) and spread rapidly by Internet users. zine: a small-circulation, self-published work of original or appropriated texts and images. Zines are the product of either a single person or of a very small group.

...Read More

Bellingcat: Truth in a Post-Truth World

“Bellingcat doesn’t have institutional support. They don’t have a big building at The Hague, or Brussels where they do their work. They actually publish very detailed analysis, and many of them are volunteers, living at home. They don’t have security. "What they do is really risk a great deal to find out the truth in very complex situations that include major global players.” Professor Claire Wardle, Executive Director, First Draft Written, directed, and shot by veteran filmmaker Hans Pool, <

...Read More

Shoot to Marry: Steve Markle’s Quest

“Is it unethical? Using a documentary to meet women? When I started on this path it seemed harmless. But, now I’m not so sure.” Steve Markle Steve Markle’s Shoot to Marry is the world’s,—no, the universe’s—first rom-com documentary film. The three-word title can be translated to: ‘I’m going to make a documentar

...Read More

the Book Makers: The Art and Craft of Making Books

the Book Makers is prolific filmmaker James Kennard’s first feature documentary, and he has hit the ball out of the park. The film covers a world I had never head of until this film: the art of books. Although it does not speak well of yours truly’s imagination or intelligence, I never even conceiv

...Read More

Who Made You?: A Cinematic Meditation on AI and Robotics

What are us humans doing with the technologies of robotics and artificial intelligence? What is the impact of AI and robotics on humanity, the ethics and values of the development and applications of these technologies? These are the questions explored in Iiris Härmä’s Who Made You?. The film goes around the w

...Read More

The Condor & the Eagle

“Ancient native prophecies say: ‘When the Eagle of the North and the Condor of the South fly together, Indigenous peoples will unite the human family’”. Sophie Guerra’s and Clément Guerra’s The Eagle & the Condor follows four Indigenous leaders in their visits to the United States and Canada (t

...Read More

Sisters Rising: Ending Violence Against Native American Women

Sisters Rising features six Native American women who are fighting back against systemic violence against their sisters. Four out of five Native American women have experienced violence. One out of three will be raped. Native American women are 2.5 times more likely to experience sexual assault than all other American women.

...Read More

The Biggest Little Farm

John and Molly Chester decided to follow in the footsteps of Eddie Albert and Eva Gabor who as Green Acres’ Oliver Wendell and Lisa Douglas left the Big City to a farm in ‘Hooterville.’ Unlike this fictional, six-season 1960s sitcom, the Chester’s left their real-life Los Angeles jobs for a 200+ acres plot of land 40 miles north of the Big City. An accomplished and prolific documentarian, John covers the couple’s eight-year, potentially Quixotic

...Read More