The House I Live In (2012)
Why We Fight director Eugene Jarecki shifts his focus from the military industrial complex to the War on Drugs in this documentary exploring the risks that prohibition poses to freedom, and the tragedy of addicts being treated as criminals. In the four decades since the War on Drugs commenced, over 45 millions of addicts have been arrested - and for each one jailed, another family is destroyed. Meanwhile, the prisons in America are growing overcrowded with non-violent criminals, and illegal drugs are still being sold in schoolyards. By examining just where it all went wrong, Jarecki reveals that a solution is possible if we can just find it in ourselves to be compassionate, and see past the decades of paranoia and propaganda. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi … More
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Critic Reviews for The House I Live In
Americans have long celebrated justice and freedom, but director Eugene Jarecki's The House I Live In forces viewers to look closely at political policies that have turned the nation into the No. 1 jailer in the world.
Whatever your politics, you will find things to astonish and flabbergast and enrage you in what is perhaps the most cool-headed examination of America's relationship to illegal drugs ever.
Somehow, Jarecki pulls it off, circling his subject and revisiting key themes as he constructs the convincing argument that, while the drug war may affect only a certain segment of the population, it's everyone's problem.
Our search for easy answers to the evils of drugs is an addiction we must wean ourselves from.
A compelling investigation into the roots of America's war on drugs, which has massively increased prison numbers whilst failing to reduce drug abuse.
The movie's indictment would be more persuasive had Jarecki recognized that his audience likely already knows most of what he recaps, and can handle the odd scrap of ambiguity.
This fine film makes surprising connections and offers provocative arguments.
It is the insiders, the prisoners themselves who are most cinema-eloquent, along with a surprising Iowa U.S District Court judge and an Oklahoma corrections center security chief.
Jarecki's arguments, presented as a very personal response to the war on drugs, are unashamedly those of a left-wing libertarian. They are also enormously compelling and extremely convincing.
Suffused with a righteous anger that Jarecki methodically turns up to full boil, The House I Live In is an emotionally shattering work, but also one with a hefty, legitimate intellectual punching power.
The ambitious look at the drug problem here offers a too simplistic view that demands a more critical and more inclusive look.
What this film argues, pretty convincingly, is that the war on drugs is much worse than a failure. It argues that it is tearing our society apart.
"The House I Live In" leaves you shaking your head in deadened wonder at the waste of it all.
Jarecki makes clear that all our efforts and investments in fighting the War on Drugs haven't yielded any real success, only ruined lives, families and communities. There comes a point in any war where it becomes important to ask: Is it worth it?
Expertly researched, brilliantly argued and masterfully assembled, it is also easily the documentary of the year.
One of the finest documentaries of the year, this involving film is lucid, sharply well shot and edited, and ultimately so important that it's rather terrifying to watch.
A wide-ranging examination of the futile, self-defeating "war on drugs" ...
One of the best documentaries out this year, and a must-see for Senate and Congress in America.
An angry and personal attack on America's war on drugs contends it is a grotesquely wasteful public-works scheme.
Audience Reviews for The House I Live In
Documentary examining some of the absurdities of the War on Drugs---like mandatory minimum sentences, the crack/cocaine sentencing disparity, and asset seizure---and how they've turned law enforcement into a self perpetuating prison-industrial complex that does nothing to address the root problems. It effectively sets forth the argument that the system is broken and that those profiting from it have no incentive to fix things, but the idea of comparing scapegoated drug-users to Holocaust victims will certainly turn some people off. The doc's biggest flaw was that it needed to be made 20 years ago, when these crazy laws were being enacted.More
Recently, Michael Moore, in his self-appointed role as commissioner of documentaries, gave a list of guidelines that documentary filmmakers should follow. One of them is to get in front of the camera. And with the documentary "The House I Live In," we can see where that might not always be such a good idea as in making a film about the failed drug war in the United States that affects so many poor and people of color, director Eugene Jarecki comes at it from the privileged point of view of his Connecticut family who employed a nanny for many years.
So while that holds true, Jarecki does provide some keen insights here, especially as it relates to the draconian mandatory minimum sentences non-violent drug offenders face. And he benefits greatly from speaking to David Simon. But at the same time, there is a lot of material that is certainly not new(Bloom County or Bill Hicks, your choice). Plus, the documentary is now a little dated since marijuana has recently been legalized in Colorado and Washington while omitting other material like say about prohibition, which might clash with the movie's overall thesis about everything being racist and classist, ignoring the United States's long puritanical streak in favor of whatever conspiracy theories happen to come along.
A documentary that looks at the "legacy" of the US's War On Drugs. It's undeniably fascinating subject matter but its filmed in a rather sedate, distancing manner, I wanted something more passionate and angry, more exhaustive.More
The House I Live In is an uncreative, loooooooong winded, redundant documentary that isn't going to tell you anything you don't already know. There have been some powerful documentaries that are more informative and have less known information about drugs in America that give you that knowledge in a more concise, ENTERTAINING way. They'll also make you think. This one will make you yawn.
This broken record of a documentary tried to beat the same thing in over and over while tweaking its own footage to sway the audiences thought. It takes almost TWO HOURS to do so as well.
There's nothing insightful about The House I Live In and it's not much of a topic starter. It's mostly just boring. If you HAVE TO watch it, wait until you can see it free on FSTV or something.
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