For over forty years, America’s “War on Drugs” has accounted for 45 million arrests, made America the world’s largest jailer, and damaged poor communities at home and abroad. Yet for all that, drugs in America are cheaper, purer, and more available today than ever before.
Filmed in more than twenty U.S. states, “The House I Live In” captures heart-wrenching stories at all levels of America’s drug war – from the dealer to the grieving mother, the narcotics officer to the senator, the inmate to the federal judge. Together, these stories pose urgent questions: What caused the war? What perpetuates it? And what can be done to stop it?
Director Eugene Jarecki has crafted a fascinating documentary which challenges and provokes. Since Richard Nixon declared his “War on Drugs” in 1971, it is estimated that the U.S. government has spent around one trillion dollars trying to prevent drug use. Prison populations are at an all-time high, with (at the time of filming) around 500,000 people serving sentences for non-violent drug offenses. According to Jarecki, the “War on Drugs” has created more problems than it has solved – and this movie is his cry for reform.
The issue of drug use is relevant to all countries, including Australia, with many voices each with their own response to the question: is the best way to prevent dangerous drug use and criminal activity associated with drugs to legalise them? Whatever your opinion on the matter, it’s clear that this is going to be one of the key political issues of the future. “The House I Live In” is another influential voice in the ongoing debate – and it’s well worth watching.
You can watch “The House I Live In” now on our Premium Rental service, or through your participating public library.