Republic documentary about Arizona's foster system now streaming on Amazon Prime

Mary Jo Pitzl Arizona RepublicPublished 11:00 AM EDT Sep 22, 2020An Arizona Republic documentary recounti

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An Arizona Republic documentary recounting the stories of five people involved with the state's foster-care system is available for viewing on the Amazon Prime streaming service.

"They Have Names" premiered in late 2019, after a year and a half of research and production.

The feature-length documentary tells the story of Arizona's child-welfare system from the perspective of people directly impacted by it: a father trying to regain custody of his five children; a grandfather attempting to adopt his three grandsons; a foster youth approaching adulthood and deciding whether to go out on her own or stay in a transitional program.

It also shows the inter-generational effect of foster care, as it chronicles the story of a former foster youth who is now incarcerated and, because of that, lost her own child to the system. And it chronicles a foster parent responding to what she saw as the shortcomings of a system that currently serves about 14,000 children. She and two fellow foster parents created a resource center to serve foster families.

Watch here:

"They Have Names" was a finalist for a Rocky Mountain Emmy award for documentaries and has been entered in two film festivals.

Starting Saturday, the International Social Change Film Festival will screen the documentary as part of its fourth-annual event, which is being held virtually this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. The festival runs through October.

Reach the reporter at and follow her on Twitter @maryjpitzl
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