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

HAL: Legendary Filmmaker Hal Ashby

  Being There / Bound for Glory / Coming Home / Harold and Maude / Shampoo / The Landlord / The Last Detail   The 1970s were knighted with the descriptor ‘A G

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The Spy Who Fell to Earth

“The truth, it’s in the eye of the beholder.” Dr. Ahron Bregman It is the 1970s. Amongst other activities, Egyptian businessman Ashraf Marwan is a spy. He has approached Mossad, Israel’s intelligence agency, and provides Egyptian intelligence. Marwan is a double agent. It appears that Tom Meadmore’s The Spy Who Fell to Ear

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When Tomatoes Met Wagner: Life in a Greek Village

Set in the plain of Thessaly is the farming village of Elias with a total population of 33 elderly people. The young people have left, the economy has tanked. This is the world filmmaker Marianna Economou inhabits for 72 minutes in her When Tomatoes Met Wagner. Alexander and Christos are our principle char

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Unfractured: Sandra Steingraber Helps End Fracking in New York State

“We’ve been living so long under the tyranny of the fossil fuel industry, that it’s come to seem normal to us. The abuse that it gives us seems normal because we’ve never experienced life without it.” Sandra Steingraber Unfractured refers to an area, state, or nation that has decided to disallow the massively damaging process ca

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The Pollinators: Saving Bees, Saving Ourselves

“One out of every three bites of food we put in our mouths comes from honey bee pollination.” Dave Hackenberg, Beekeeper, Hackenberg Apiaries   I have seen my fair share of documentary films about agriculture and agribusiness—including films about bees. Peter Nelson’s The Pollinators is the most well-produced, co

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This Mountain Life: A Mother/Daughter 2,300 Kilometer Trek

Grant Baldwin’s This Mountain Life is about people and mountains—specifically those of British Columbia, a province that consists of 75% mountainous lands. Very few people take advantage of the beauty and majesty available to them in their own province. The film follows a few of the few. ...Read More

The Silver Branch: A Profile of Patrick McCormack

“The Burren is a region of County Clare in the southwest of Ireland. It’s a karst landscape of bedrock incorporating a vast cracked pavement of glacial-era limestone, with cliffs and caves, fossils, rock formations and archaeological sites. On the Atlantic coast, the precipitous Cliffs of Moher are home to thousands of seabirds, including puffins.” Katrina Costello’s ...Read More

Invisible Essence: The Little Prince

“As with all great classics, it’s a book that changes every time you read it.” Stacy Schiff, author, Saint-Exupéry biographer Charles Officer’s film about The Little Prince and author Antoine de Saint-Exupéry explains how and why this book can change when read more than once. Officer tells many stories—about Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s tragically short life, the author’s philosophy, as well as the writing and reception of his iconic b

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How many pages of text about the nature of beingness and existence have human beings written since the dawn of our existence? Considering the countless number of libraries lost to accident or intention, the number is likely in the quadrillions. With scientists having penetrated deep inside the atom and far out to the edge of the known universe, we seem to be doing a pretty good job of discerning the nature of existence, not so much the nature of beingness. The elepha

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Right To Harm: The Fight to End Factory Farms

“We’ve taken the right to farm to the point where it’s easily called the right to harm.” Gary Nester, Iowa County Resident Right To Harm is Annie Speicher’s and Matt Wechsler’s coverage of the damaging health and environmental impacts of factory farms—and citizens’ initiatives to protect themselves, protect their environment, and t

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