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

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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The River and the Wall: An Odyssey Along the Rio Grande

“I’ve been river-guiding here on the Rio Grande for the past six years. I want people to know what’s out here. I want the love to be shared. This is wilderness as wild as it gets.” Austin Alvarado   Ben Masters’ The River and the Wall is a simple, elegant, well-produced film about the insane wall th

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Echo in the Canyon: Laurel Canyon in the Sixties

  “Music happens in a particular moment in time, and it changes everything going forward.” Jackson Browne Boy, if there was ever a documentary that screams the showbiz adage ‘leave them wanting more’ it is the utterly delightful Echo in the Canyon. The film is about a time—the 1960s; a place—southern Cali

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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