The House I Live In
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
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 - a definitive portrait revealing its profound human rights implications.
The film recognizes the seriousness of drug abuse as a matter of public health, and investigates the tragic errors and shortcomings that have meant this symptom is most often treated as a cause for law enforcement, creating a vast machine that largely feeds on America's poor, and especially on minority communities. Beyond simple misguided policy, the film examines how political and economic corruption have fueled the war for 40 years, despite persistent evidence of its moral, economic, and practical failures.
Top Customer Reviews
"The House I Live In" (2012 release; 108 min.) is a detailed and critical look at "the War on Drugs", now more than 40 years on since President Nixon declared that war in 1971. The filmmaker starts at home, literally, as his revisits with his family's (black) nanny from his days growing up in suburban Connecticut and New York in the 1970s. As it turns out, the lady has lost several family members, including a son, to drugs. From there Jarecki interviews lots of different people, from jailed drug dealers to a US federal judge to a prison security guard, and on and on. One of the historians interviewed claims that the criminalization of drugs goes back to the beginning of the 20th century (when opium was outlawed to deal with the Chinese-Americans, then cocaine was outlawed to deal with African-Americans, and finally marijuana was outlawed to deal with the Mexinan-Americans). The picture that eventually emerges is devastatingly bleak: despite over $1 trillion spent and 45,000,000 arrests since 1971, the situation today is no better now than it was then, if anything, it is a lot worse. A lot attention is given to the discrepancy in penalties given for crack cocaine versus powder cocaine (100 to 1), and the devastating consequences of that on the African-American community.Read more ›
One thing that the film doesn't explore much is solutions. However, it does tell us what and where the roots of the problem are. The roots are in floundering desperation which exists because we cause it with prejudice, bigotry, miseducation and corralled poverty. The "drug war" is one aspect of a war on the poor. Ending the drug war is the implied solution, but the film's elucidation portends just how complicated and far-reaching that end would be. Ending the drug war would mean putting a big hole in the budget of many law enforcement agencies, for one thing, and it would impoverish some rural communities where the main business is leasing and operating a prison! The U.S. is the prison capital of the world, so that's a big deal. Also, the film shows us how low-level drug sales put food on the table and shoes on the feet of poor children; if the market goes legit, then all of that is going to stop abruptly -- because big business capitalists will step in to take their place. Where are all of those small-time dealers going to get their income from then? Will they turn to other criminal enterprises? Ending the "war on drugs" is what needs to happen, but it has got to be done carefully so as not to cause even further suffering and damage.
The House I Live In is a great film to watch along with reading the book, The New Jim Crow by Law Professor Michelle Alexander. In her book, Alexander analyzes the history of racial caste systems dating back to potential Virginia through reconstruction, to Jim Crow and the civil rights era, through the 1970/80/90s white segregationist backlash against the Civil Rights Movement through the present day War on Drugs. The War on Drugs is, as Alexander understood, basically a new racial caste system disguised in law and order language. In The House I live In, Jarecki reveals that it was not only African Americans (who Alexander mainly discusses) who were targeted in drug laws, but Chinese immigrants in California, as well.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It was an incredible eye opening journey from start to finishPublished 8 days ago by David McNamara
This documentary describes what the so-called "War on Drugs" has actually done to our communities and culture in the U.S. since it was introduced. Read morePublished 29 days ago by Rebecca Hensley
As nearly everyone has already said, this is a great documentary. I like the fact that the film-maker had someone who was touched in his life. Read morePublished 1 month ago by J. Gill
I didnt like the actual movie at all but the live streaming was very good and a easy process to go through.Published 1 month ago by Annalee Guenther
Difficult to follow, very grainy audio, not suitable for classroom usePublished 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
Really enjoyed the documentary, especially the history of drugs in America and how the law reforms came about. Read morePublished 2 months ago by sk