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

A Song for You: The Austin City Limits Story

Keith Maitland’s A Song for You: The Austin City Limits Story does just what the title indicates—tells the story of the legendary television show up until his documentary’s 2016 release. The film’s de facto host is  ...Read More

Paying the Price for Peace: The Story of S. Brian Willson

“The United States has been at war under every President since 1941. However, since the end of World War II, US Presidents have authorized illegal and unconstitutional wars of aggression. According to the US Constitution, only Congress can declare war. But, Presidents have consistently found ways to wage war without Congressional approval. Between 1950 and 2000, the US government has overthrown 60 democratically elected governments, dropped bombs on ov

...Read More

Hello, I Am David!: A Journey with David Helfgott

In 1996, writer/director Scott Hicks gave us “Shine” about the storied Australian concert pianist David Helfgott, portrayed by Geoffrey Rush. In 2015, Cosima Lange gave us, Hello, I Am David!—a documentary about Mr. Helfgott who continues touring to this day. For those unfamiliar: Helfgott was on a fast-track to concert stardom w

...Read More

The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution

“Relations between police and Negroes across the country are getting worse. One of the cities most troubled by animosity between police and Negroes is Oakland, California.” 1960s black-and-white network news report Donald J. Trump and his Republican cohorts have ripped off the thin, translucent scab that covers America’s congenital racism. Although Stanley Nelson’s ...Read More

Beyond the Fear of Singing: Unlock Your Voice. Release Your Song.

“Most children learn very, very quickly that they don’t have that kind of sound. They don’t have that kind of voice to compare with that. Most children just stop at some point. There’s also a sort of a ritual that happens at some time where in the school, or at home, the children are put in front of a crowd of people—their school mates, their family—where they’re asked or forced to sing a song. For many, many children—but also adults—this is like

...Read More

The Bleeding Edge: Injury and Death Caused by Medical Devices

iatrogenic: (adjective of a medical disorder) illness, injury or death caused by the diagnosis, manner, or treatment of a physician In The Bleeding Edge well-lauded director Kirby Dick focuses on the harm that has been done, and is being done on patients who are treated with medical devices—a $400 billion industry. The injuries are life

...Read More

Alone on the Island of the Blue Dolphins: The Truth Behind the Fiction

Scott O’Dell’s childrens book Island of the Blue Dolphins was published in 1960. Every November, half a million fourth graders read this classic tale of loss and survival. The book is a speculation of what life may have been like for a 12 year old girl stranded on San Nicolas Islan

...Read More

Forbidden Films & Hitler’s Hollywood: 2 Docs about Cinema and Propaganda in Wartime Germany

For history and war buffs, cinephiles, politicos, and other interested parties, Kino Lorber has released Hitler’s Hollywood by Rudiger Süchsland and ...Read More

Invisible Hands: The Destruction of Childhood

“Willfull ignorance”—That is the term one speaker in Shraysi Tandon’s Invisible Hands calls our attitude toward the use of 200 million children around the world to manufacture the products the ‘civilized’ world consumes with gleeful abandon. The hands, of course, are not invisible, we simply have y

...Read More

Robin Williams: Come Inside My Mind

“His pathos was seeking to entertain and please. He felt when he wasn’t doing that, he was not succeeding as a person, and that was hard to see. Because in so many senses, he is the most successful person I know, and yet he didn’t always feel that.” Zak Williams When Robin died I felt like I’d lost a beautiful friend I met in 1979, when I joined the rest of the world and bought his first record, ‘Reality... What A Concept’. Over the decades I’d

...Read More