The House I Live in
Director: Eugene Jarecki

Eugene Jarecki’s stunning documentary delivers a scathing indictment of the War on Drugs. In 1971 President Richard Nixon singled out drug abuse as the public enemy number one in the United States. More than 40 years later, narcotics are cheaper, stronger and freely available, but the U.S. now houses 25% of the world’s prison population, many of whom are serving ridiculously unproportionate sentences for nonviolent drug offences. The Nixon administration initially understood that apart from punishing the offenders, it was essential to treat the addiction. However, this compassionate approach didn’t go down well with the voters, and every subsequent President has appeared first and foremost tough on crime. The incarcerated offenders are predominantly blacks and poor people in general, and the film very convincingly argues that the campaign has contributed to the destruction of an entire social class (“a Holocaust in slow motion“) and to the success of the private prison industry. Jarecki adds a moving personal touch to the story by telling how drugs ravaged the family of his childhood nanny.