Coming to the Cable Car in November “The House I Live In” may be the film that will finally get this topic traction with the general public. Directed and written by Eugene Jarecki, and winner of the Grand Jury documentary prize at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival, this film takes on the failed war on drugs. (Disclosure: I am a speaker for Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP) an organization of former law enforcement officers, judges, sheriffs, DEA agents, and others, who believe that drug abuse is bad, but the war on drugs is worse.)
The movie is being widely praised, from Forbes “The Most Important Drug War film You’ll Ever See,” to the New York Times where Manohla Dargis calls it “urgently persuasive” adding,
Mr. Jarecki smoothly folds these images in with dizzying statistics and a cavalcade of talking-head interviews with a range of sympathetic experts, including Michelle Alexander, the author of “The New Jim Crow.” He also checks in with a psychologist, as well as with historians, legal professionals, prisoner advocates and inmates. Among the most important collaborators he taps for explanatory duties is the journalist turned pop-culture god David Simon, the creator of “The Wire.” Receiving what seems to be more screen time than any interviewee, Mr. Simon makes at once a fine, friendly narrative guide; a restrained voice of moral outrage; and, as the movie builds to its sweeping conclusions, a conspicuous stand-in for Mr. Jarecki.
LEAP executive director Neill Franklin and board chair Jack Cole had the opportunity to attend advance screenings of the film, and both believe it to be an extraordinary exposé on the damage done by drug prohibition and urge everyone to see it. (And yes, that is a Providence Police car in the trailer, so apparently we are in this.)