Wednesday, October 16, 2013
"First Circle": a documentary about foster care in Idaho
“First Circle” is a documentary about the foster care system in the Boise, Idaho area, directed by Heather Rae, released in 2010.
The film traces the work of a female deputy sheriff (Jerrilea Archer) assigned to child protection. She visits and inspects the homes of families of people on probation or out of prison, or follows up on complaints, and determines whether children need to be removed and placed in foster care.
A local charity called The Bridge purchases two homes, each to house six to eight children, and “hires” a couple or single parent to live there full time and care for the children. But eventually the homes close down and are sold, as it seems difficult to find the adults to do the job.
Later the film presents a “Wednesday’s Child” segment (shown on many NBC local affiliates) with a pre-teen boy with a gift for playing the violin.
The director (herself Cherokee) tells some of her own story, with a brother in jail and a sister-in-law recovering from drug addiction.
The official site is here. The site give the complete title of the film as "Family: The First Circle". The 2010 film showed at Sundance and Tribeca, and was produced by Appaloosa Pictures and Priddy Brothers. There is another detailed account by the Native American Film Festival here.
The film, available on Netflix Instant Play, does not seem to have a trailer. The short film above is about Covenant House, from PBS, about kids aging out of the foster system.
Wikipedia attribution link for Idaho scene. My own most recent visit to the area was in July, 1990.