The next US Documentary Competition title finds Sundance alumnus Eugene Jarecki returning to Park City: THE HOUSE I LIVE IN examines the unqualified disaster that is America’s War on Drugs.
Sundance Program Description:
Eugene Jarecki’s seminal film WHY WE FIGHT dissected the underbelly of the American war machine. Now, with scalpel-like precision, Jarecki turns his lens on a less visible war—one that is costing more lives, destroying more families, and quickly becoming a scourge on the soul of American society. 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. Yet drugs are cheaper, purer, and more available today than ever. Where did we go wrong, and what can be done?
Comprehensive in scope, heart wrenching in its humanity, and brilliant in its thesis, Jarecki’s new film grabs viewers and shakes them to their core. THE HOUSE I LIVE IN is not only the definitive film on the failure of America’s drug war, but it is also a masterpiece filled with hope and the potential to effect change. This film is surely destined for the annals of documentary history.
Two of Jarecki’s previous feature docs, WHY WE FIGHT (2005) and REAGAN (2011), both premiered at Sundance, the former receiving the Documentary Grand Jury Prize. His producing team includes executive producers Nick Fraser, adding to the scores of other Sundance titles the BBC commissioning editor been involved with; Danny Glover and Joslyn Barnes (Sundance winning TROUBLE THE WATER, THE BLACK POWER MIXTAPE 1967-1975); and producer Sam Cullman (co-director of Sundance winner IF A TREE FALLS) as well as a number of producers and associate producers who also worked with Jarecki on REAGAN.
Why You Should Watch:
As with the other big issue films in the competition line-up, Jarecki strikes a delicate balance between comprehensiveness and individual stories revealing the real cost of the misguided drug war. The filmmaker is able to connect the impact of government policies on the fates of personal family friends to go beyond faceless statistics. Exposing a broken, destructive system with few positive societal benefits, Jarecki’s film is poised to enrage viewers to demand a radical shift in law and punishment for drug-related offenses.