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

Burkinabé Rising: The Art of Resistance in Burkina Faso

‘Burkinabé’ is the generic term for the people of Burkina Faso—the land-locked African nation. Iara Lee’s Burkinabé Rising celebrates the story of a people liberated—via their own means—from a brutal dictatorship. The film’s subtitle, ‘The Art of Resistance in Burkina,’ refers to the crucial,

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The Sunday Sessions: Conversion Therapy with Chris and Nathan

“It seems that other people’s happiness comes at a much lower cost than mine.” Nathan speaking with Chris, his SSA conversion therapist Nathan is a tall, thin, intelligent, articulate, talented, handsome, and charismatic young man. He is struggling with a conflict between his attraction to males and his Catholic religious beliefs. Nathan learns about and seeks ‘same-sex attractions conversion therapy’—also called ‘reparative therapy.’ Dir

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Taking Root: The Vision of Wangari Maathai

Taking Root tells the epic story of Kenya’s Wangari Maathai who led a politico-environmental movement in her homeland—a movement that garnered Maathai global notoriety and the Nobel Prize. Vi

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Love Thy Nature

Directed by veteran filmmaker Sylvie Rokab, Love Thy Nature examines humanity’s troubled relationship with nature, and explores ways that relationship can become untroubled. Narrated by Liam Neeson as the voice of Sapiens (the voice of humanity), the film addresses our relationship with nature from a variety of perspectives—social, psy

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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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