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

What Do You Believe in Now?—The Spiritual Journeys of American Millennials

In 2002, veteran filmmaker Sarah Feinbloom produced and directed What Do You Believe?—The Religious Lives of American Teenagers. The award-winning film was featured on PBS, and screened internationally. In 2019, she released her follow-up film ...Read More

Another Look at Steve Burrows’ BLEED OUT

September 8, 2019 I had occasion to contact filmmaker Steve Burrows recently with an inconsequential question. After that was laid to rest I asked him what’s next in his professional life, and he gave me an unanticipated dramatic earful about the incredible success of his 2018 film, BLEED OUT—about injuries and deaths caused by medical errors—th

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Cooked: Survival by Zip Code

“It had never been more obvious to me how deeply flawed and immoral our national priorities are. I started this film questioning our very definition of ‘disaster,’ and amending it, convinced that if we just enlarge that definition, we could address the underlying conditions that are literally killing people every day." Judith Helfand The Chicago 1995 heat wave that killed at least 739 people is the inciting incident in  ...Read More

Unraveling Athena: The Odyssey of a Tennis Champion

Unraveling Athena tells many stories of the path from little girl to number one world tennis champion. Produced and directed by Francis Amat, the film traces the journeys of 21 champions from early childhood to post career. Each champion has undergone an extensive interview which editor Pepe Plaza has skillfully woven into a m

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The Family: America’s Global Unification of Church and State

Prolific documentary filmmaker Jesse Moss has introduced us to ‘The Family’ via his film of the same name. Available on Netflix, The Family covers this now not-so-secret secret organization’s history and global outreach. Founded by Abraham Vereide in 1935, in San Francisco, the loosely structured organization expanded and spread aro

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This Changes Everything: The Struggle for Gender Parity in the Film Industry

Accomplished filmmaker Tom Donahue’s This Changes Everything covers the status quo of gender discrimination in the film industry. Despite a smattering of women's names found in film and television credits, the gender gap is still very much with us. The impact is global. The resistance to re

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Becoming Nobody: Ram Dass’s Greatest Hits

For those unfamiliar, Ram Dass was known as Dr. Richard Alpert, a Harvard-based psychologist. If you are one of those, Becoming Nobody is the best filmic introduction ever to the iconic psychologist turned spiritual teacher. As of this writing—August, 2019—Ram Dass lives in Maui, Hawaii. He is 88 years old, living with the physical resul

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You Racist, Sexist, Bigot: a film to raise consciousness

Directed by Pita Juarez and Matty Steinkamp, You Racist, Sexist, Bigot is a call for respect for human diversity and human rights. The documentary features several people speaking to camera, speaking to us, telling their stories, sharing their experience, and expressing their opinions. T

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Be Natural: The Untold Story of Alice Guy-Blaché

“She was more or less forgotten by the industry that she helped create.” Martin Scorsese Abigail Disney, Hugh Hefner, Jodie Foster, and Robert Redford are just a few of the people responsible for the production of Pamela P. Green’s Be Natural: The Untold Story of Alice Guy-Blaché. They had

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The Inventor: Out for Blood in Silicon Valley

“If you look at her from the beginning, it would be a cautionary tale about all of us.” Dan Ariel, behavioral economist As of this point in time, Elizabeth Holmes is scheduled to go on trial in federal court on July 28, 2020, for allegedly defrauding investors, doctors and the public. In The Inven

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