dir. Eugene Jarecki | 108 minutes | 2012 | documentary
As America remains embroiled in conflict overseas, a less visible war is taking place at home, costing countless lives, destroying families, and inflicting untold damage on future generations of Americans. Over forty years, the War on Drugs has accounted for more than 45 million arrests, made America the world’s largest jailer, and damaged poor communities at home and abroad. Yet for all that, drugs are cheaper, purer, and more available today than ever before. Filmed in more than twenty states, The House I Live In captures heart-wrenching stories from individuals at all levels of America’s War on Drugs. From the dealer to the grieving mother, the narcotics officer to the senator, the inmate to the federal judge, the film offers a penetrating look inside America’s longest war, offering a definitive portrait and revealing its profound human rights implications. While recognizing the seriousness of drug abuse as a matter of public health, the film investigates the tragic errors and shortcomings that have meant it is more often treated as a matter for law enforcement, creating a vast machine that feeds largely on America’s poor, and especially on minority communities. Beyond simple misguided policy, The House I Live In examines how political and economic corruption have fueled the war for forty years, despite persistent evidence of its moral, economic, and practical failures.
SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL 2012: FEARLESS! A model of the ambitious, vitalizing activist work that exists to stir the sleeping to wake.
NEW YORK TIMES: 2012′s BEST DOCUMENTARY! The House I Live In should be seen by everybody.
FORBES: SEARING! One of the most important pieces of nonfiction to hit the screen in years.
LOS ANGELES TIMES: Expertly researched, brilliantly argued and masterfully assembled, it is easily the documentary of the year.
INDIEWIRE: A ballsy mix of interviews and editorializing that’s daring enough to question a costly crackdown that has long had the public’s support. This essential-viewing docu-essay…should spark considerable press attention, which can only benefit the pic’s theatrical prospects.
TIMES PICAYUNE: Eugene Jarecki’s incisive and incendiary The House I Live In, which won the U.S. documentary Grand Jury Prize at Sundance and might win next year’s doc Oscar, will blow your mind.
HOLLYWOOD REPORTER: I’d hate to imply that it’s your civic duty to see The House I Live In…. but guess what – it is.
VARIETY: A potent cry for a drastic rethinking of America’s War on Drugs, Eugene Jarecki’s The House I Live In… should connect solidly with viewers at a moment when it seems possible to change public attitudes.
BOSTON GLOBE: A gut-punch of a documentary.
THE SALT LAKE TRIBUNE: Powerful and brilliantly produced…Jarecki weaves cultural theory, personal quest, and hard journalism to produce a terrifying portrait of a society addicted less to drugs than to locking people up.
SUNDAY TIMES OF LONDON LITERARY SUPPLEMENT: BRILLIANT! A true nonfiction complement to The Wire.
MOVIES.COM: A POWERFUL PIECE OF ANGUISHED FILMMAKING! A rich, multi-faceted look at one of America’s most misguided policy initiatives.
SLANT: Eugene Jarecki’s superb documentary…nurtures one’s natural instinct to expose and erase societal injustice. In other words — it speaks candidly to whatever is good in you.
FILM SLATE MAGAZINE: There are documentaries, there are good documentaries and then there is this documentary, which, hyperbole aside, could be one of the most important pieces of non-fiction to come out of the US in recent times.