Still from The House I Live In
The House I Live In
Sundance Film Festival
Director: Eugene Jarecki
Inspired by director Eugene Jarecki’s relationship with his childhood caretaker, Nannie Jeter, The House I Live In serves as a great introduction and over-view of America’s 40-year-long war on drugs. Through a series of interviews with law enforcement officers, scientists, drug users, drug dealers, incarcerated individuals and the families of the incarcerated, Jarecki paints a vivid picture explaining that the violation of drug laws has become a multi-generational problem for poor Americans—especially poor African Americans like Nannie Jeter. Along the way, Jarecki explains that historically every drug law passed has been tied to race and that many small towns across the country have become financially dependent on their prisons and law enforcement agencies. As he carefully stacks the information it becomes apparent that American’s jail their population more than any other country because prisons are profitable. Although The House I Live In was informative, some of the narrative connections Jarecki attempted to make seemed to stretch a bit thin, such as comparing the rate that American’s lock up their own citizens to an attempted genocide of the lower class. While I agree that it’s absurd that in 2009 1.7 million individuals were arrested for nonviolent drug charges, comparing the statistics to genocide is a bit far fetched. Eventually the information in the film became incredibly repetitive and it felt as if Jarecki was leading the audience in circles. The House I Live in was good, but at 110 minutes, probably would benefit from some additional editing.
Time: 2:15 pm Date: 1/26/2012 Venue: Library Center Theatre
Time: Noon Date: 1/28/2012 Venue: Egyptian Theatre