Seeking Justice: The House I Live In

The Adult Education Committee, guided by priorities of our Outreach Board, is offering a Seeking Justice movie series. The first movie, Street Pulse, filmed in Madison, addressed homelessness. We now look forward to the second movie in the series, The House I Live In.

              As America remains embroiled in conflict overseas, a less visible war is taking place at home, costing countless lives, destroying families, and inflicting untold damage on future generations of Americans. Over forty years, the War on Drugs has accounted for more than 45 million arrests, made America the world’s largest jailer, and damaged poor communities at home and abroad. Yet for all that, drugs are cheaper, purer, and more available today than ever before. Filmed in more than twenty states, The House I Live In captures heart-wrenching stories from individuals at all levels of America’s War on Drugs. From the dealer to the grieving mother, the narcotics officer to the senator, the inmate to the federal judge, the film offers a penetrating look inside America’s longest war, offering a definitive portrait and revealing its profound human rights implications.

While recognizing the seriousness of drug abuse as a matter of public health, the film investigates the tragic errors and shortcomings that have meant it is more often treated as a matter for law enforcement, creating a vast machine that feeds largely on America’s poor, and especially on minority communities. Beyond simple misguided policy, The House I Live In examines how political and economic corruptions have fueled the war for forty years, despite persistent evidence of its moral, economic, and practical failures.

The film was written, directed and produced by Eugene Jarecki, an award-winning filmmaker, public thinker, and author. He is one of only two people to have twice won the Sundance Grand Jury prize for documentary, most recently in 2012 for The House I Live In. His prior film, Reagan, received wide critical acclaim and won an Emmy Award after premiering on HBO for the occasion of Reagan’s 100th birthday. In addition to his work in film, Jarecki is also a thinker on international affairs, and has appeared on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Charlie Rose, and the Colbert Report. Two reviews of the movie follow:


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.

                                                                                    -Sundance Film Festival 2012

FEARLESS! A model of the ambitious, vitalizing activist work that exists to stir the sleeping to wake.

                                                             -New York Times

Please plan to join us Friday, October 18th to watch this movie. Light dinner at 5:30pm, with movie to begin at 6:00pm in the Fellowship Room. Discussion will follow. Childcare is available.

~ Eldonna Hazen


Posted on October 8, 2013 at 10:11 am in Featured Content.

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