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 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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End Game: A Compassionate Approach to Death and Dying

  End Game is a 2019 Oscar nominated short documentary film about innovative, compassionate approaches to dying. Based in San Francisco, veteran filmmakers Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman follow five people through their death process. The film features physicians BJ Miller, Steve Pantilat and Giovanni Elia who appear throughout the film worki

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The Camp Fire Documentary

Preface from Wikipedia: “The Camp Fire was the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in California history to date. It is also the deadliest wildfire in the United States since the Cloquet fire in 1918, and is high on the list of the world's deadliest wildfires; it is the sixth-deadliest U.S. wildfire overall. It was the world's costliest natural disaster in 2018. “Named after Camp Creek Road, its place of origin, the fire started on November 8,

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Operation Toussaint: Operation Underground Railroad and the Fight to End Modern Day Slavery

“It’s what we are trying to do. We intentionally go to the darkest corners of the Earth, where there is no hope, and find these kids. And what that does, apart from liberating children, is that it provides hope for everybody now.” Tim Ballard Operation Toussaint is Nick Nanton’s coverage of Tim Ballard’s initiative to addr

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Generation Wealth

“I do believe that it’s un-American to say you can make too much money. I mean the Federalist Papers say if I want to work a hundred hours a week, and never see my family, and die at an early age, that’s my prerogative.” Suzanne, Hedge-Fund Executive In 2008, photographer/filmmaker Lauren Greenfield began a study of the cult of wealth. In 2017, her study generated a museum exhibition, a 504 page hardcover book, and a 106 minute documentary film, ...Read More

Bleed Out: Addressing Our Broken Healthcare System

  Written, directed, and experienced by Steve Burrows, Bleed Out is another scathing indictment of the United States’ greed-driven healthcare system. In his HBO documentary Burrows tells the story of his mother, Judie, a retired school teacher who was living a vital, active senior life. Judie had a

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Saving Atlantis: Reversing the Global Loss of Corals

“If some tropical reefs are able to survive, it will only be because we are finally willing to fight for them.” David Baker, Director, Oregon State Productions Humanity’s attack on the natural world is massive—on a seemingly uncountable number of fronts. We can see the land, the sky, and rivers. But, for all intents and purposes, we see only the surface of our oceans. Just beneath the ocean’s surface live—or used to live—corals. Narrated by the

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