By turns revelatory, disquieting and sad is a riveting indictment of the War on Drugs first initiated by Pres. Nixon in 1971. There is a commitment on vivid display to the marginalized of societal masking a problem with no end in sight.
Eugene Jarecki's documentary The House I Live In is a very well-rounded piece of cinematic journalism of a by-the-numbers approach for government and businesses, as well as the prison and law enforcement industries with no solutions leaving communities and families tattered.
Jarecki (maker of The Trials of Henry Kissinger and Why We Fight) provides his own voice-overs into the narrative which includes a variety of talking heads from academics and cops to ex-cons, even people on the streets unaware of America's policy. Old and recent footage also underscores what has cost about a trillion dollars to date, as the use of his family's elderly black housekeeper, Nannie Jeter, makes the incriminating points in a deeply personal way. Nannie's son succumbed of AIDS-related drug abuse.
The approach on the offenders is a way for the system to feed off itself to give rise to more incarceration facilities where the unemployable return. The thought-provoking Jewish helmer cites the persecution of his kin as the candor of Richard Lawrence Miller makes for a difficult link to the Holocaust. Another key speaker comes from former reporter and The Wire co-creator David Simon.
If The House I Live In has its grandiloquent turns, the issues raised, for example, from the drug usage often racially divided when it comes to minorities and even upper-class WASPs elicits agitation as the indignation from "draconian" methods does justify a call to justice.
|The House I Live In||B+||B+|