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

American Circumcision

“For the serious scholar, there’s just endless opportunities there to horrify yourself, amaze yourself, wonder why this ever got started.” John Geisheker, JD, LLM, Executive Director, Doctors Opposing Circumcision Oh, that’s what you can call me, an ‘intactivist’—the urban dictionary definition of which is: ‘Someone who loves, honors, respects and protects the rights of the child to an intact body. Someone who sees genital mutilation

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Saving Brinton: Calling All Cinephiles—and Everyone Else

“I like to save things, especially if they’re too far gone.” Michael Zahs A deceased father reconnecting with his living son is not the only dream that came out of Iowa. Filmmakers Tommy Haines, John Richard, and Andrew Sherburne tell stories of film pioneer William Frank Brinton and the savior of Brinton’s historic work, Michael Zahs. For more than seven decades, the pioneering cinematic work of Frank and Indiana Brinton was buried and decaying. ...Read More

SMART: Specialized Mobile Animal Rescue Team

“We’re the last line. If we can’t do it, no one can. We haven’t walked away from a rescue yet.” Armando Navarrete In just 74 minutes filmmaker Justin Zimmerman tells a myriad number of stories about the creation of SMART, the daredevil staff who rescue animals, and their stories of many rescues. ...Read More

That Way Madness Lies…

“The more that I have tried to put my hand into it, and tried to control it, the longer I have prolonged him getting help. My big mistake has been trying to circumvent the suffering.” Sandra Luckow With That Way Madness Lies... filmmaker Sandra Luckow tells the epic, tragic, heart-breaking story of her brother Duanne’

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Dark Money

The three pillars of the destruction of American democracy are: 1) Gerrymandering 2) The tactics and strategies that, combined, significantly suppress voter participation 3) Money in politics—especially ‘dark money’ It is, of course, number three that is the subject of Kimberly Reed’s Dark Money. Reed's coverage of the influence

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the Breast Archives: Nine Women Tell Their Stories

Meagan Murphy’s idea is deceptively simple: a documentary about women’s breasts. Yet, what emerges from the Breast Archives is complex, deep. By interviewing nine women speaking about their breast

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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

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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