The House I Live In

David Simon, the creator of The Wire, discusses the failure of America's War on Drugs and its effect on law enforcement.

House i live in 01
Independent Lens
Premiere Date
April 8, 2013
120 minutes
Funding Initiative
Series and Special Projects
  • Award laurels-r Created with Sketch.
    2012 Sundance Film Festival-Grand Jury Prize (Documentary)
  • Nominated laurels-r Created with Sketch.
    2013 The Grierson Trust-Best Cinema Documentary
  • Award laurels-r Created with Sketch.
    2014 Peabody Awards-George Foster Peabody Award
  • Producer/Director

    Eugene Jarecki

    Eugene Jarecki is an award-winning dramatic and documentary filmmaker whose most recent film Why We Fight won the Grand Jury Prize at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival and the 2006 Peabody Award, as well as the Adolf Grimme Prize, Germany’s highest television honor. Jarecki’s prior film, The Trials of Henry Kissinger was also released to critical acclaim in more than 130 U.S. cities. Winner of the 2002 Amnesty International Award, the film was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award. In 2002, Trials was selected to launch BBC’s prestigious digital channel BBC4 and the Sundance Channel’s documentary division. Most recently, Jarecki has been selected, alongside Morgan Spurlock and Alex Gibney, to direct an omnibus film of Freakonomics, based on the bestselling book. In 2001, Jarecki wrote and directed his first dramatic feature film, The Opponent, distributed by Lions Gate Films.

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    The Film

    While the Iraq War rages, another war continues, unnoticed, unreported, and yet it has taken more lives than the Iraq war, destroyed more families, orphaned more children, and — like the Iraq War — holds significant implications for the future of American society.

    America’s War on Drugs has deep roots in the country’s history. Chapter by chapter, America’s drug laws have been used as political and economic tools against the poor, the ethnic, and the undesirable. Yet to date no single group has been more damaged by such policies than black America for whom — despite the exceptional progress of a handful of black celebrities and the hopeful presidential candidacy of Barack Obama — the war on drugs continues undeterred and persistent in its destructive impact. Amid the War on Drugs, black life is a spiraling crisis of social disintegration, political and economic disenfranchisement, and spiritual decay — a kind of ongoing insult added to the injuries of slavery, Jim Crow, and the short-circuiting of the civil rights movement.

    Director Eugene Jarecki, whose film Why We Fight examined the anatomy of the American war machine, will turn the same penetrating lens to the War on Drugs, seeking to lay bare its mechanics, motivations, and contradictions.