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The House I Live In (2012)

Not Rated | | Documentary | 5 October 2012 (USA)
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From the dealer to the narcotics officer, the inmate to the federal judge, a penetrating look inside America's criminal justice system, revealing the profound human rights implications of U.S. drug policy.

Director:

Eugene Jarecki

Writers:

Eugene Jarecki, Christopher St. John (additional writing)
4 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Eugene Jarecki ... Himself - Narrator / Interviewer
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Michelle Alexander ... Herself - Author, The New Jim Crow
Mark W. Bennett Mark W. Bennett ... Himself - U.S. Federal Judge (as Hon. Mark Bennett)
Joe Biden ... Himself (archive footage) (as Joseph Biden)
Michael Bien Michael Bien ... Himself - Civil Rights Attorney
Charles Bowden Charles Bowden ... Himself - Investigative Reporter
Mike Carpenter Mike Carpenter ... Himself - Chief of Security, Lexington Corrections
Betty Chism Betty Chism ... Herself - Kevin's mother
Michael Correa Michael Correa ... Himself
Michael Correia Michael Correia ... Himself - Commanding Officer, Narcotics (as Lt. Michael Correia)
Eric Franklin Eric Franklin ... Himself - Lexington Corrections Center (as Warden Eric Franklin)
Glendon Goldsboro Glendon Goldsboro ... Himself - Providence Police (as Lt. Glendon Goldsboro)
Maurice Haltiwanger Maurice Haltiwanger ... Himself - ID# 03678-029
Carl Hart Carl Hart ... Himself, associate professor of psychology, Columbia University
Elzie Hooks Elzie Hooks ... Himself, inmate, Lexington Correctional Center
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Storyline

From the dealer to the narcotics officer, the inmate to the federal judge, a penetrating look inside America's criminal justice system, revealing the profound human rights implications of U.S. drug policy.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

In the past 40 years, the War on Drugs has accounted for 45 million arrests, made America the world's largest jailer, and destroyed impoverished communities at home and abroad. See more »

Genres:

Documentary

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Netherlands | UK | Germany | Japan | Australia | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

5 October 2012 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

American Ghetto: Mayaku-sensô to sabetsu no rensa See more »

Filming Locations:

New Haven, Connecticut, USA See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$16,453, 7 October 2012, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$210,752, 10 February 2013
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(total run time)

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Himself - Physician, Addiction Expert: America's drug problem - a result of hundreds of years of history, economic policy, social policy, and misunderstanding. So let's not make the most physical manifestation of it - that is to say, people being out there on the street and using - the problem. It's not the problem. It's simply a manifestation of the problem. It's simply a symptom. It's sort of like saying that the problem with pneumonia is that you cough. "Let's suppress the cough, and that's okay." Well you can suppress the cough....
See more »

Connections

Edited into Independent Lens: The House I Live In (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

SUMMERTIME
Written by George Gershwin, Ira Gershwin, DuBose Heyward
Published by WB Music Corp. on behalf of George Gershwin Music, DuBose and Dorothy Heyward
Performed by Mahalia Jackson
Courtesy of DuBose & Dorothy Heyward Memorial Fund
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Well-crafted advocacy piece with a few distracting flaws.
19 September 2012 | by imdb-480-136149See all my reviews

The House I Live In is a very informative work of advocacy that's only thinly masquerading as a documentary. It's a more reformed, nuanced version of a Michael Moore piece that has a clear point of advocacy aimed squarely at whatever practical center still exists. It doesn't hit you over the head with a message or misleading facts but squarely lets you arrive at the conclusion that the drug war has failed.

It's not an anti-corporate rant with a clear villain to rally against. I left thinking that there was enough material and story there to easily fill a mini-series or a Ken Burns style documentary without getting preachy or creating fatigue.

It has enlightening and entertaining moments, but there are many flaws in the storytelling. Many characters are introduced, many of which with too much or not enough background, and seem to float around their promised purpose without really landing at a point or purpose. (Given the ending theme of the work, perhaps this is intentional.)

David Simon's incredibly powerful monologues bring a saving grace to moments in the film that tend to struggle, especially moments where the director awkwardly inserts himself into the film.

Unlike a lot of similar works, you could probably take your Republican parents to see it without the evening being automatically ruined.

Unlike almost every other advocacy piece I've seen, it achieves its goal of starting a conversation, rather than ending one.


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