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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

Herself - Author, The New Jim Crow: You know, in any war, you've got to have an enemy, and when you think about impact, particularly on poor people of color, there are more African-Americans under correctional control today in prison or jail, on probation or parole, than were enslaved in 1850, a decade before the Civil War began. And that's something we haven't been willing to look in the mirror and ask ourselves, "what's really going on?"
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

A must-see documentary
19 January 2013 | by rogerdarlingtonSee all my reviews

In 40 years, of America's 'war on drugs', more than 45 million arrests have been made. The approach has made the United States the world's largest jailer with almost 2.3 million individuals incarcerated. This means that the USA has the highest documented incarceration rate in the world with about 1% of all adults in jail. African Americans comprise less than 14% of the US population but almost 40% of those in prison. Hispanic Americans comprise just over 16% of the US population but around 20% of those in prison. African American males are jailed at about six times the rate of white males and three times the rate of Hispanic males.

Against this background, Eugene Jarecki has written, produced and directed this striking documentary examining the impact of the war on drugs in America. Starting with the black woman who was his childhood nanny, he interviews an eclectic cast of characters with different experiences of the problem: the drug dealer, the policeman, the judge, the prison guard, the life prisoner with no chance of parole, and – most eloquent of all – the creator of the television series "The Wire".

Until recently, the drug problem has been seen by many Americans as a black and brown issue and the strong emphasis on enforcement measures, with a growing use of mandatory minimum sentences, has led to a swollen ethnic prison population that, for many whites, has swept the problem off the streets and out of sight. But the availability of different drugs and the loss of manufacturing jobs has led to more white, working class men being caught up in this destruction of both personalities and communities. So, at its core, this is not an issue of ethnicity but one of poverty.

The film argues that the policies of the last four decades have failed and need to be fundamentally rethought. Drug use should be considered as less an issue of criminal justice and more a matter of public health. Many drug users are not evil or selfish but victims of poverty and deprivation who are trying to find some income where there is little employment and some solace when life is so miserable.

This is a stunning documentary that raises profound issues – and not just for Americans. It will not be an easy film to see at the cinema, so catch it on television (as I did) or buy or rent it.


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