The House I Live In, a newly released documentary from director Eugene Jarecki, dissects the United States’ failed drug prohibition policies, both previous to and following the declaration of the “War on Drugs” under the Nixon administration. Endorsed by Brad Pitt, who is one of the producers, the film deals with the serious consequences of our anti-drug crusades, including world-record rates of incarceration, the development of an influential prison-industrial complex, and, connected with these, the exacerbation of racial and class-based divisions in society. As with the prohibition of alcohol, current drug laws also enrich the organized crime elements, which now control large and extremely profitable drug markets.
The director makes his case largely through interviews with supporters and opponents of the War on Drugs who are involved in it in various ways, including judges, prison guards, and narcotics officers, as well as drug users and dealers. David Simon, notable as the director of the critically-acclaimed HBO series The Wire, which was centered on inner-city drug gangs, is also one of the main interview subjects. Jarecki concludes that the War on Drugs is a cruel, expensive, and ineffective policy which has done great harm to the country, including the people who are ostensibly being protected from drugs by the law.
If you would like to attend a screening in your area, check the schedule here. We’ll be alerting our members of upcoming screenings as they happen.