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

Life in the Doghouse: Two Men and a Lotta Dogs

"We don't care if they adopt from us, we just want them to adopt. It's just saving lives." Ron Danta Four million animals a year are euthanized annually in the United States—primarily because of human carelessness and the greed of puppy mill operators. Companion and partners Ron Danta and Danny Robertshaw are doing anything and everything they possibly can to reduce that number. Their work was initially inspired when they rescued 600 dogs abandoned in

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Cielo: The Stars Are Conversing

Written, directed and narrated by Alison McAlpine, Cielo is a contemplation of the sky—night, day and twilight. But, not just any sky, the sky above the Atacama Desert, Chile—one of the driest, clearest places on Earth

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Gay Chorus Deep South

“There are two things we can do. We can sing and we can love.” Steve Huffines On the heels of Trump’s presidential campaign and victory, state-driven pro-discrimination initiatives, and anti-LGBTQ citizen activism, Steve Huffines had a suggestion. The former Board Chairperson of the San Francisco Gay Chorus pro

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Artifishal: The $68,000.00 Salmon

“Hatcheries are pawns in a game of political power. The whole thing is about money. Fishing is a huge industry, and every state is in it for those dollars. It's not about conserving our resources, it's perverting our resources on a short-term bet to get tourist dollars in.” Dave Philip, Conservation Geneticist “I thought of hatcheries as something that actually, kind of helped us as fishermen—that there would be more fish in the river, and we were allowed

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Who Will Write Our History: The Papers that Rose from the Dead

“You’re cut off from the whole world. You can’t go to school. You can’t make a living. So, writing becomes the only recourse to feel a sense of ownership of one’s self.” Interviewee Within a two-week period I have received, viewed, and now reviewed two documentary films on the Holocaust in Poland. Having seen and learned from both films, I understand why. The pre-Holocaust population of Polish Jews was 3 million, the largest Jewish comm

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Decoding the Driftless: Protecting A Unique American Region

‘Drift’ is a geological term for soil and rocks transported and deposited by glaciers. For a variety of reasons articulated in Jonas Stenstrom’s Decoding the Driftless there is a region in the upper mid-west United States that escaped being overrun by ice during the last ice age. The ice ‘drift’ f

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Sickboy: Confronting Disease

“Until that expiring day comes, I’m not going to stop. Not until we make more people realize that laughing at a disease takes away its power. If you really sit, and actually think about that, it can have some pretty profound effects on how the way you live your life.” Jeremie Saunders Jeremie Saunders has cystic fibrosis, a terminal disease. He is living way beyond his predicted 'expiring day.' Together with friends Brian Stever, and Taylor MacGillivary, Saunders

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Chasing Portraits: A Heritage Lost and Found

The portraits being chased are those of Polish Holocaust victim Moshe Rynecki who painted approximately 800 images of Jewish life in Poland. The chaser is his great granddaughter Elizabeth Rynecki who has the largest collection of Rynecki’s work in the world, and is the producer/director/narrator of Chasing Portraits. Three million Jews live

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The Last Animals

Kate Brooks’ The Last Animals is about the killing of elephants and rhinoceroses. Her expertly produced documentary covers the killers, those fighting and dying in the field to stop the killing, those bringing the killers to justice, activists around the world working to stop the slaughter, and working to bring species back vi

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Ten years in the making, Modified is veteran filmmaker Aube Giroux’s inspiring, infuriating plea for the United States and Canada to start labeling food products containing genetically modified ingredients. The film tore up the festival circuit with at least ten wins, and was selected by at least twelve other festivals. Giroux tells her personal story of an idy

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