THE HOUSE I LIVE IN captures heart-wrenching stories at all levels of America's drug war


Filmmakers: Eugene Jarecki
Year: 2012
Runtime: 108 mins
Country: USA
Format: HD

Newsnight: The Review Show (BBC) - "One of the best documentaries I have ever seen in my life" – Sarah Churchwell


Sundance Film Festival (US) 2012
Full Frame Documentary Film Festival (US) 2012
AFI-Discovery Channel Silverdocs Festival (US) 
Los Angeles Film Festival (US) 2012
Sundance London (UK) 2012
Sheffield Doc/Fest (UK) 2012
IDFA - Reflecting Images (Amsterdam, Netherlands) 2012







Over the past 40 years, the War on Drugs has cost more than $1 trillion dollars and accounted for over 45 million arrests. The US incarcerates almost 25% of the prisoners in the entire world although we have only 5% of the world’s population.

Black individuals comprise 13% of the US population and 14% of drug users, yet they are 37% of the people arrested for drug offenses and 56% of those incarcerated for drug crimes.
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 film examines how political and economic corruption have fueled the war for forty years, despite persistent evidence of its moral, economic, and practical failures.


Eugene Jarecki (Director, Writer & Producer) is an award-winning filmmaker, public thinker, and author. His recent film REAGAN, which examines the life and legacy of the 40th president, received wide critical acclaim after premiering at the Sundance Film Festival and on HBO for the occasion of Reagan’s 100th birthday. In 2010, Jarecki worked alongside Morgan Spurlock and Alex Gibney as director of a documentary film inspired by the bestselling book FREAKONOMICS. Earlier that year, he directed Move Your Money, a short online film encouraging Americans to move their money from “too big to fail” banks to well-rated community banks and credit unions. The film went viral, becoming an online sensation with over 7 million hits in just its first three weeks online.

Jarecki’s 2006 film, WHY WE FIGHT, winner of the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival and a Peabody Award, has been broadcast in over forty countries and released theatrically in over 250 US cities. In 2009, Simon & Schuster published Jarecki’s acclaimed book, The American Way of War: Guided Missiles, Misguided Men, and a Republic in Peril, which explores how militarism disfigures America’s foreign and defense policies as well as her broader national priorities.

Jarecki’s prior film, THE TRIALS OF HENRY KISSINGER was released in over 130 U.S. cities and won the 2002 Amnesty International Award, was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award and has been broadcast in over thirty countries. In 2002, TRIALS was selected to launch BBC’s prestigious digital channel BBC4 and the Sundance Channel’s documentary division.

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, The Colbert Report, FOX News, CNN, PBS NOW, BBC World, NPR, MTV, The Tavis Smiley Show, Current TV, Clear Channel, Pacifica Radio, and Sirius Radio as well as having been featured in the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Financial Times, the Daily News, the Village Voice.